Enabled4Growth – Advice for Disabled London Entrepreneurs
Disabled entrepreneurs in London can access free advice on attracting business investment, following the launch of a support programme by charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.
The Enabled4Growth programme will run for three years and offer advice and information to 700 firms on how to grow and sustain their business.
Applicants must be disabled under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act or run a business where at least half of the owners have a disability. Business owners can apply online via the Enabled4Growth website.
“Many disabled business owners want to expand their business, but often face the serious challenge of changing people’s perceptions of who they are and what they can do,”
said Leonard Cheshire Disability’s director of innovative projects, Jane Fletcher.
“Ensuring all the basics are in place and getting the right funding proposal together is key to growth and attracting further investment. Enabled4Growth’s free access to finance support is one way to help your business make that step.”
Business owners who take part in the programme will be invited to attend an introductory meeting where they can network with other disabled business owners.
They will then be matched with a business adviser who will help them assess the financial health of their business, understand what investors will look for, identify and apply for investment and learn how to pitch their business to a panel of investors.
Advisers will spend 12 hours in total with each business over a period of several weeks. Business owners can organise the meetings at their premises or carry them out via phone or MSN messenger. Firms can also request sign language interpreters or written information in different formats, depending on their needs.
Enabled4Growth will also approach investors to explain the value of working with disabled businesses.
Entrepreneur Amar Latif, who runs Traveleyes, a travel business for the visually impaired, welcomed the programme.
“Access to finance is vital for any business to grow, and as an entrepreneur I know only too well how difficult this can be,” he said. “It was a real hurdle to get people to take me seriously — I was this blind guy who runs a travel business asking for a loan to expand.”