Cover Image
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?
close this folder1. The purpose of this book
View the documentChallenging myths and attitudes
View the documentProviding encouragement
View the documentChanging rehabilitation approaches
View the documentWhom is the book for?
close this folder2. Self-employment - An option for disabled people
View the documentDefining the terms
View the documentSelf-employment is not for everyone
View the documentWhy self-employment?
View the documentThe position of the disabled
View the documentDiscouragement from self-employment
View the documentMotivation for self-employment
View the documentWorking together
close this folder3. Disabled entrepreneurs: Case studies
close this folderThe sample
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderGroup I: Enterprises still receiving assistance
View the documentMary Gwande: The Jerusalem Tailors' Co-operative
View the documentThe Oyugis Sheltered Workshop
View the documentJambo's Shoe Repair business
View the documentMomodou Njie: The miller
View the documentCommentary: Group I
close this folderGroup II: Enterprises which received assistance
View the documentBabu Suryawanshi's dairy farm
View the documentThe Rainbow Kiosk
View the documentBinti Manoa's dressmaking school
View the documentFely Lucas: pavement vendor
View the documentBob Sabio and Sons: Figurines
View the documentCommentary: Group II
close this folderGroup III: Independent entrepreneurs
View the documentJosť Ocasla: Watch repairing
View the documentLamin Sambou: The tailor
View the documentAgripa Mutetsa's watch repairs
View the documentNazir Hakim's auto-rickshaw
View the documentManuel Tan: Waysonics Radio/TV Tutorship
View the documentGeorge Karasa: The Museka Butchery and General Store
View the documentMang Tibong: Miniature musical instruments
View the documentCommentary: Group III
View the documentNote
close this folder4. What do disabled entrepreneurs need?
View the documentProblems of the disabled self-employed
View the documentProblems before starting
View the documentShortage of capital
View the documentMarketing
View the documentOther problems
close this folder5. What is being done for disabled entrepreneurs?
View the documentOrganisations and their funding
View the documentClients and the objectives of rehabilitation
View the documentThe training offered
View the documentDuration of training
View the documentCapital
View the documentMarketing
View the documentFollow-up
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”
close this folder7. Some thoughts for planners
View the documentThe global scene
View the documentSelf-reliance versus dependence
View the documentRethinking planning priorities
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

Working together

Self-employment has so far been treated exclusively as an individual activity undertaken by one person. It is important to stress that there are many examples of successful co-operatives or group enterprises where numbers of people have come together in order to pool their resources and their skills and to start a business together. This form of self-employment has many advantages; people can share the numerous responsibilities of business, they can take advantage of the economies in purchasing and operations that arise from the larger scale of their enterprise, and they can benefit from the mutual support and encouragement of their fellow members rather than having to labour alone.

The record of group enterprise, however, is far less successful than that of individual business, in spite of the obvious advantages. The commonest reason for the failure of such enterprises is the failure of the group to work together effectively; jealousies arise, members do not accept leadership from among themselves, and the end result is most frequently one of two disappointments: either the group breaks up and the enterprise ceases to operate or the group is “hijacked” by a particular individual who often exploits his or her fellow members and runs the enterprise for selfish ends.

Disabled people, like other marginalised groups, are particularly likely to be able to work together effectively because they share a common problem and feel that they must stick together in order to show the rest of the world that they can succeed. Groups or co-operatives of disabled people, like any other enterprise, must be effectively led; they must avoid being used by political interests and they must be managed in a businesslike way using the necessary skills to produce goods or services at a price that others are willing to pay. Such groups must also be genuinely “owned” and managed by their members, rather than being dependent on outside financing and direction. It is vitally important for anyone who is assisting disabled people to work together with them to ensure that the initiative and control belong to the group rather than coming from outside. If this can be achieved, disabled people may be more likely than most to overcome the problems of group enterprise and to exploit the undoubted advantages.