Self-Employment for People with Disabilities - New Course Commencing in September

20 Jul, 2021

This is an online course, and all support activities will also take place online.

A new course for people with disabilities who wish to start their own business will begin this September.

The course will be hosted and delivered by TU Dublin through its Continuing Professional Development programme. It is open to anyone who self-identifies as having a disability and who wishes to start their own business. However, the course is not suitable for a person who has already started their own business or simply wants to learn about entrepreneurship.

The course requires participants to have a business idea that they wish to evaluate as a sustainable enterprise. During the course, participants will cover the following topics:

  • Distinctive challenges facing people with disabilities becoming self-employed
  • Idea evaluation
  • Customer segmentation
  • Customer relationships and channels
  • Clarifying the Value Proposition
  • Balancing business and personal well-being
  • Key business activities
  • Key resources and partners
  • Developing financial projections
  • Test marketing your idea
  • Understanding legal matters
  • Presenting your business plan

The module will include a range of Guest Speakers whose experience and expertise are relevant to the target audience. Using a newly-developed online tool that will enable participants to develop their idea on a week-by-week basis, plus adopting Universal Design for Learning principles, a customised experiential learning approach will allow each participant to maximise their learning from the course.

The course will consist of 12 lectures followed by a 4-week period to allow for the completion and submission of a Business Plan. The course is being offered at NFQ Level 6 of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and successful participants will be awarded 5 ECTS credits. Participants on the course will be students of TU Dublin and will therefore be eligible to access any of TU Dublin’s resources (e.g. library, disability support services). Additionally, each participant will be allocated a business mentor who will support them with the development of their business idea.

Pobal and The Open Doors Initiative sponsor the course, so there is no fee required to be paid by participants. Potential participants are required to submit an application form that includes a 500-word summary; the summary of their business idea can be typed into the form or else created via video or audio file. The summary should address the following questions:

  • Are you starting the business on your own or with co-founders?
  • What is the product/service?
  • What problem is your product/service solving?
  • Who will buy it?
  • Why is your product/service better than what is already available?

The course will conclude with the presentation of Business Plans to a panel of potential funders of the business. While the submission of every Business Plan will be evaluated for the awarding of 5 ECTS credits, only final business proposals considered sustainable will be eligible to make a presentation for potential funding.

To apply for the course, you simply need to complete the CPD form at the following link. As part of the application, you will be asked to provide a summary of your business idea as suggested above. There are 20 places available on the course, and the selection will be made based on the information provided about the business idea. Applications for the course will close on August 31st 2021, and any queries relating to the course should be emailed to thomas.cooney@tudublin.ie

Self-Employment for People with Disabilities Module

Project Partners

  • TU Dublin (College of Business; Hothouse; Disability Access Services; Directorate of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Local Enterprise Office network
  • MicroFinance Ireland
  • Disability Federation of Ireland
  • Kaleidoscope Investments (UK)
  • SimVenture (UK)
  • DoLearnFinance.com