Cover Image
close this bookSelf-Employment for Disabled People - Experiences from Africa and Asia (ILO, 1989, 100 p.)
close this folder6. Lessons to be learned
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSelf-employment is not for everyone
View the documentThe disabled are not very different from other people
View the documentInstitutions should be local and flexible
View the documentFinance may be granted but loans must be repaid
View the documentAssistance must “bridge the gap”

Self-employment is not for everyone

First of all, at the risk of over-stressing the obvious, we must yet again emphasise that self-employment is not for everybody, whether he or she is disabled or not. Most of the case studies describe people who have achieved remarkable success against heavy odds; they are and should be admired because of this, but it is vital to avoid the impression that entrepreneurs are in some way “better” than other people. It is unlikely that more than a very few of the readers of this book will be entrepreneurs; most will be social workers, trainers or others employed in helping the disabled to become self-sufficient.

This does not mean that such people are in any way less useful or less praiseworthy than someone who starts and sustains his or her own enterprise, and clients of rehabilitation institutions must not be given the impression that they should in any way feel obligated to emulate the self-employed or feel inadequate because they do not. Everyone must decide what he or she wants to do, and the role of the counsellor or trainer is not to compel or even to persuade but to present alternatives and develop clients' capacity to choose for themselves.

The purpose of this book, therefore, has not been to “promote” the idea of self-employment for the disabled. Instead, it gives some examples of what can be done so that disabled people themselves, their families and those who wish to assist them may be aware of the opportunities and the difficulties in order to widen the selection of ways in which disabled people can work towards self-sufficiency.