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

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 22 Issue: 2S

Self-Management in Entrepreneurship of People with Disabilities1

María Teresa López-Felipe, University of Murcia

José Antonio Durán Valera, University of Murcia

Citation Information: López-Felipe, M.T., & Valera, J.A.D. (2019). Self-management in entrepreneurship of people with disabilities. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 22(S2).


The objective of this article is to know the relevance of the self-management dimension as a determining factor for the entrepreneurship of people with disabilities, through the analysis of the existing relationship between certain competencies and the factors that promote or hinder entrepreneurship. The analysed data are obtained from a survey conducted on a sample of Spanish residents who have physical, sensory and organic disabilities. The results manifest that self-management influences two basic decisions related to the entrepreneurship of people with disabilities: while on one hand, the decision to start up a business in order to increase personal income, is linked to the competencies of transparency, initiative and optimism, on the other hand, the decision to leave the business for lack of profitability is influenced, not only by the previous factors, but also by emotional self-control, adaptability and achievement.


Competencies, Disability, Entrepreneurship, Self-Management.


The concept of self-management refers implicitly to autonomy and self-government, not only in the personal but also in the professional sphere. It is a concept, which in the case of people with disabilities, is related to a dimension whose implications must be specially taken into account, due to the fact that, self-management can be a powerful tool to achieve the empowerment of said group. Therefore, this concept can have great relevance in relation to the aim of contributing to the promotion of autonomy and the empowerment of people with disabilities.

At occupational level, self-management is one of the key elements for persons with disabilities to launch a business. Its influence is determined by competencies which are involved in such dimension such as emotional self-control, understood as the containment of harmful impulses and negative emotions; transparency or integrity when acting coherently regarding one's own values; adaptability or flexibility in relation to changes; achievement, understood as the impulse to satisfy and improve the objectives of excellence; initiative, understood as the willingness to act thanks to the opportunities presented or optimism, as the capacity to insist on the achievement of objectives despite obstacles (Olaz & Ortiz, 2018). Consequently, those competencies may be considered as key aspects for entrepreneurship of people with disabilities.

The very nature of entrepreneurial activity demands some of these skills in order to be able to initiate and develop it successfully. Moreover, we cannot forget the fact that, in the case of people with disabilities, there may also be different factors with a marked influence on entrepreneurship, such as institutional, legal, personal, training or family aspects, among others.

It should be noted that the necessity of achievement, as well as being one of the motivations associated with entrepreneurship (Olaz & Ortiz, 2018), is one of the main characteristics of entrepreneurs (Alemany et al, 2011). In addition to these competencies, to develop a business it is undoubtedly necessary to have initiative and a good ability to adapt oneself. Therefore, it should be considered that self-management is one of the key dimensions for the entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities.

This article aims at knowing the existing relations between competencies including the self-management dimension and the factors that favour or hinder the entrepreneurship of people with disabilities.

Literature Review


From a perspective which is focused on competencies and takes into account the profound changes of the recent decades, self-management has become a requirement to ensure permanence in a scenario conditioned by the mentioned profound changes (Alonso et al,, 2009). In the case of the entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities, self-management of competencies would be oriented towards the promotion either of self-employment or of any other initiatives which are an alternative to the ordinary labour market. It is known and noted that the promotion of self-management enhances the integration of this collective and improves their quality of life (Aguila & Aguila, 2009).

The encouragement of self-management may be appropriate for the promotion of entrepreneurship and the integration of persons with disabilities; therefore, self-management may contribute not only to generate a professional alternative but also to facilitate the insertion into the labour market of such collective.

From another point of view, we would also like to focus on aspects in relation to training adding that, apart from other training requirements, the possibility of lack of training in self-management is precisely a limitation for entrepreneurship and is unavoidable for the entrepreneurial activity to succeed (Moreno & Tejada, 2015).

In short, entrepreneurship is an alternative of progress that goes beyond the labour environment. It stands for a high degree of autonomy in the personal sphere and to be achieved it is necessary to be able to use the required capacity for self-management to a great extent. In the case of people with disability, and in the field of entrepreneurship, it is essential not only to desire to have greater autonomy or a good business idea, but also to have a good self-management capacity (Suárez-Ortega et al, 2014).


This article uses data which result of a survey which was conducted by the University of Murcia between November and December 2018 on a sample of residents in Spain who have physical, sensory and organic disabilities. The technical sheet of such survey appears referenced in the article of Barba-Sánchez (methodology), published in this review. It was developed within the framework of the Project "Disability and entrepreneurship. Competence Analysis" (CSO2016-75818-R) and was funded by the National R+D+I Plan.

In order to characterize the profile of the entrepreneur, this article has considered the self-management dimension, defined by six independent variables, which are: Emotional self-control; transparency; adaptability; achievement and initiative.

Results and Discussion

Following data result from crossing the variables related to self-management with the variables related to self-management and entrepreneurship which have greater asymptotic significance (Table 1). Given the obtained values, it was considered appropriate to select those crosses that reflected an asymptotic significance between 0.5 and 1.

Table 1 Results of the Relationships Between Self-Management and the Entrepreneurship of Persons with Disability
Self-management (independent variables) Entrepreneurship (dependent variables) Asymptotic Significance (bilateral)
Emotional self-control Property 0.929
Profitability deficiency 0.911
Personal challenge 0.814
Seniority 0.787
Size (employees) 0.635
  Transparency Profitability deficiency 1.000
Ownership 0.936
Increase Income 0.982
Need 0.661
Adaptability To have a business 0.933
Size (employees) 0.900
Seniority 0.806
Increase Income 0.695
Lack of profitability 0.668
Achievement Size (employees) 0.961
Need 0.998
Lack of profitability 0.598
Initiative Seniority 0.719
Lack of economic resources 0.669
Increase income 0.659
Lack of profitability 0.642
Optimism Seniority 0.963
Lack of profitability 0.960
Personal Independence 0.839
Size (employees) 0.786


Self-management, involves a set of competencies, which influences the entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities from different aspects. Emotional control has great relevance in the entrepreneurship of such collective when property is individual and personal challenge is what mainly motivates to start up an entrepreneurial activity. To such extent, business seniority, on the one hand, and its abandonment due to lack of profitability, on the other hand, are related to harmful emotions and impulses and their containment.

As a competence, transparency has a relation with entrepreneurship. Such a relation depends on the company’s ownership, whether it is individual or shared. Furthermore, transparency reaches maximum relevance when making the decision to leave a business for lack of profitability. It also influences the decision to start a business to face necessity or to increase personal income.

Adaptability is linked to the company`s size, what depends on the number of employees, its seniority and to the fact of owning a business, as opposed to the case of those who have never launched a business. It also influences when, on one hand, entrepreneurship is chosen in order to increase personal income and when, on the other hand, the entrepreneurial activity has to be abandoned for lack of profitability.

The achievement, which results from the accomplishment of demanding goals, is related to the size of the company, to the decision to develop a business because of necessity and to abandon an activity because of profitability of the business.

The initiative, which is inhibited by the lack of economic resources, is considered a determinant competence, in as much as it conditions if to decide to start a business with the intention of increasing personal income or to give up entrepreneurship for lack of profitability of the activity. This competence is also related to the seniority of the company.

Also optimism is linked both to the seniority of the company and its size according to its number of employees and is considered a key competence, which conditions launching a business for reasons of personal independence and its abandonment due to lack of profitability of the business.

All previous competencies, which are included in self-management, influence the decision to abandon the entrepreneurial venture for lack of profitability of the business; that is to say, such decision must be approached as a whole through the prism of self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative and optimism. On the contrary, concerning self-management, the decision to launch a business in order to increase personal income prevails and is influenced by the competencies of transparency, initiative and optimism.

1Proyecto Discapacidad y Emprendimiento. Análisis Competencial. CSO2016–75818–R (AEI/FEDER, UE).


  1. Aguila, O., &amli; Aguila, J. (2009). The theory of communication and the develoliment of communication skills in lieolile with lihysical disabilities. Diálogos de la Comunicación, 78, 1-14.
  2. Alemany, L., Alvarez, C., lilanellas, M., &amli; Urbano D. (2011). White lialier of the entrelireneurial initiative in Sliain. Barcelona: lirince of Girona Foundation-ESADE.
  3. Alonso, L.E., Fernández, C.J., &amli; Nyssen, J.M. (2009). The debate on comlietencies. Madrid: ANECA.
  4. Moreno, R., &amli; Tejada, A. (2015). Entrelireneurshili as a work alternative for lieolile with disabilities: imliortance of liroductive occuliation over quality of life (communication). In: Maldonado, J. (Eds). I National Congress on the emliloyment of liersons with disabilities “towards full emliloyment inclusion”, Granada, Esliaña.
  5. Olaz, A., &amli; Ortiz, li. (2018). Causes and factors of entrelireneurshili of lieolile with disabilities. A comlietency analysis through the nominal grouli technique. Navarra: Editorial Aranzadi.
  6. Suárez-Ortega, M., Sánchez-García, M.F., &amli; Alvarado-Blanquer, A. (2014). Aliliroach to the situation of autonomous workers with disabilities and identification of socio-labor exclusion factors. Revista Iberoamericana de liroducción Académica y Gestión Educativa, 1(2).
Get the App