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Every year on March 21, the world celebrates the International Day of People with Down Syndrome. This is a great reason to think about the problems of people with disabilities and their possibilities to find themselves in this world. Especially because these days the issue of inclusion in Ukraine is being discussed more and more actively.

However, people with disabilities still face many barriers when looking for work as well as starting their own business. The non-inclusiveness of the public space, the lack of representation of the interests of people with disabilities in government, the unwillingness of employers to spend money on arranging special workplaces are just some of them.

Social business is a good opportunity to provide a decent life for yourself and your family and not depend on anyone. In addition, by founding your own social enterprise, you can not only change your own life, but also influence the life of others. Read about these and other benefits of inclusive business in the material from the Ukrainian Social Academy.

Find yourself in your favorite business

While preparing this article, we went to a well-known Ukrainian job search site and saw a lot of vacancies for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, none of them can be called a dream job. People with disabilities are mainly offered low-paid jobs. So, we came across the vacancies for a cleaner, a call center operator and a shop assistant.

To have a flexible schedule and an accessible workplace

Nowadays, people with disabilities are most often offered remote work. This seems a logical solution, given the critically low number of offices adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. However, at work we not only perform a certain list of tasks, but also communicate with colleagues, work and develop professionally.

Of course, you can wait for an initiative from the government or business. But it is much easier to create your own business and your own rules of the game.

Opportunity to earn decent money

Work at a social enterprise provides an opportunity to develop professionally and receive a market salary for their work. This is especially important for vulnerable populations, such as people with disabilities. Indeed, the current amount of social benefits for people with disabilities is about 3,000 hryvnias.

Help others realize themselves

Most people who come to social business because they have faced a problem in their lives, solved it and want to share their experience with others. Mutual assistance is very well developed in the community of people with disabilities, as evidenced by the many cases of inclusive social enterprises that already operate in Ukraine.

How to start your own inclusive social business?

Often, when entrepreneurs want to do something, they do not know where to start. Anyone who has tried to start their own business knows how many obstacles they have to overcome at the start. Creating a unique product, finding investment, promotion and competition are just some of the issues that need to be addressed. Especially given the number of obstacles that people with disabilities have to overcome.

But, as experience shows, the most important thing is to move forward, set a corresct example and learn how to carry on a dialogue. So, we hope that in the near future we will see more inspiring cases, since the Ukrainian Social Academy will soon announce the “Inclusive Business” program for people with disabilities. More information about the start of enrolment is on the Academy’s Facebook page.