Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)


The Type of Disability as a Differential Factor in Entrepreneurship1

Author(s): Salvador Manzanera-Román, Gaspar Brändle Señán

In a context characterized by the deterioration of the position of people with disabilities in relation to employment, entrepreneurship can be considered as a useful element to favour both labour and social inclusion of this collective, despite the fact that such a resource is underutilized by people with disabilities.

Research on entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities has focused on those impediments or obstacles, which hinder persons with disabilities from initiating entrepreneurial actions. Among these obstacles, there are, on one hand, those related to the social field, including institutional ones, those concerning education and training linked with entrepreneurial competencies, socio-economic ones and even the ones related to family. On the other hand, there are those related to the personal sphere, which, on the contrary, have to do with the type of disability.

Furthermore, this research is based on a survey which was conducted between November and December 2018 on a sample of residents in Spain with physical, sensory and organic disabilities. Such a survey has been developed by the University of Murcia within the framework of the Project "Disability and entrepreneurship. Competence Analysis"(CSO2016-75818-R), which was funded by the National R+D+I Plan. The results of such research manifest that having disabilities is a differentiating factor in entrepreneurship.

Therefore, people with disabilities related to the osteoarticular system are those who start up a business to a greater extent than the rest, since almost 60% of surveyed people with that disability have launched a business on some occasion, while only 14.3% of people with visual system disability or 15.2% of hearing impaired have developed a business. This may be due to the fact that people with the latter two types of disability find a better socio-labour insertion through paid work. On the contrary, 23.1% of people with disabilities related to the neuromuscular system do not develop a business, as they consider that it is impossible for them because of their own disability. However, it seems that concerning entrepreneurship, social factors are more determining than personal factors. Lack of economic resources or lack of institutional support for entrepreneurship are factors that condition entrepreneurship and should be taken into consideration to promote self-employment among persons with disabilities.

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