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close this bookSelf-Employment for Disabled People - Experiences from Africa and Asia (ILO, 1989, 100 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentIntroduction: What is this book about?
Open this folder and view contents1. The purpose of this book
Open this folder and view contents2. Self-employment - An option for disabled people
Open this folder and view contents3. Disabled entrepreneurs: Case studies
Open this folder and view contents4. What do disabled entrepreneurs need?
Open this folder and view contents5. What is being done for disabled entrepreneurs?
Open this folder and view contents6. Lessons to be learned
Open this folder and view contents7. Some thoughts for planners
View the documentAnnex I. Guide-lines for assistance to self-employment
View the documentAnnex II. Institutions surveyed
View the documentAnnex III. Further reading
View the documentOther ILO publications
View the documentBack cover

Introduction: What is this book about?

This book is the outcome of an inquiry carried out in 1987 in the Gambia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines and Zimbabwe. The purpose was to obtain information about disabled people who are in business on their own account and to show how they have managed.

The authors of this book - one a small enterprise development specialist and the other a rehabilitation professional - have come together for an unusual task: to see what disabled people can achieve as entrepreneurs and to examine the potential of self-employment as a viable prospect for disabled people who want to make a living.

Chapter 1 introduces the wider context and summarises the three main objectives that the authors set out to achieve; to call into question much of the conventional wisdom about disability; to provide encouragement to both disabled entrepreneurs and institutions serving them; and to suggest a fresh approach to rehabilitation. Chapter 2 then highlights the option of self-employment for disabled people seeking economic independence.

Chapter 3 - the core of the book - presents 16 case studies of disabled entrepreneurs chosen from the 53 businesses studied during the inquiry. The case studies are divided into three groups: those enterprises which are partially dependent on continuing assistance, those which once received assistance and those which have managed entirely on their own. A commentary is given on each group, the purpose being to demonstrate how disabled people succeed in self-employment and to obtain a better understanding of the nature of the problems they face when starting a business of their own.

These experiences are discussed in Chapter 4 in relation to normal small enterprise development. We identify the needs and problems common to disabled entrepreneurs and look into the various possibilities of enhancing the option of self-employment.

Chapter 5 examines what is being done for disabled entrepreneurs, drawing on the experience of 32 rehabilitation institutions in Africa and Asia that were included in the inquiry. It looks at how far the objectives of rehabilitation, the training offered, support services and follow-up are appropriate to the disabled clients and meet their needs.

The lessons to be learned from the analysis, both by disabled entrepreneurs and by rehabilitation institutions, are summarised in Chapter 6. Finally Chapter 7 offers some thoughts to planners concerned with establishing practical and appropriate services designed to promote self-help and self-reliance for disabled people.