Self-employment: the In Business programme

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There are an estimated 800,000 adults with learning disabilities of working age, of which fewer than 6% have a paid job, often a part time one.

Despite this, many people express an interest in exploring work opportunities. One less-frequently explored option is that of self-employment.

The In Business programme explored the route to self-employment and small business ownership for those people with learning disabilities interested in an alternative path to work. It captured the journey to enterprise with particular focus on innovation, business planning and development and service delivery change.

The In Business resources have been developed in response to this, based on our experiences within the pilot sites over a number of years that reflected Local Authority and Voluntary Sector settings as well as urban and rural economies.

Below you will also find numerous resources, guides and tools to help people who have an idea for becoming Self-employed. We have also produced a report about the project as well as a briefing for policy makers, commissioners and service providers.

In Business resources

Developing a business idea

This is a workbook to help you think about some of the issues that a business advisor would talk about with you.

Download the guide

Writing a business plan

This publication includes a breakdown and instructions on how to write each part of the business plan, with lots of space for notes and ideas.

Download the guide

How to fill in a self-assessment form

This publication includes easy to follow instructions on how to complete a self-assessment form.

Download the guide

A quick guide to self assessment

This publication gives basic information about what you might need to set up a business or be self employed. A list of organisations who may be able to provide help and advice is also included.

Download the guide

The In Business programme offers a range of consultancy support, resources and tools to create exciting employment opportunities for people with a learning disability.

We can help local authorities, support organisations, individuals and families by offering:

  • interactive workshops
  • awareness raising
  • capacity building training for staff teams
  • development of business circles
  • innovation and invention activities
  • business support
  • personal planning.

Our RED (rapid enterprise development) workshops develop individual business plans and to create ‘business circles of support’, thereby enabling individuals and their supporters to move from ideas to business plan and beyond. These workshops can also be delivered as training to community support workers to develop their business development skills and their ability to spot and test ideas.

Enterprise ideas included:

  • DJ services
  • steel band
  • ink recycling
  • disability awareness training
  • car wash
  • children’s t-shirts
  • pet beds
  • jewellery
  • gardening
  • licensed car hire
  • dog walking
  • an eBay business
  • support for travel arrangements
  • office recycling
  • horticulture
  • plastic recycling
  • arts, crafts and sculpture.

More information

For more information about our training, workshops and consultancy services just contact us.

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