Disabled Entrepreneurs Offered Chance to Win £50k Award

Entrepreneurs who have achieved business success despite having a disability could win £50,000 worth of investment, following the launch of an annual competition sponsored by Easygroup founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

The Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award, organised by charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, is open to anyone who has a recognised disability, owns at least 25 per cent of their business, has been trading for between two and five years, and has an annual turnover of more than £10,000.

Entrants need to be able to demonstrate how the prize money would make a significant difference to their business. For example, the cash prize might enable the winner to buy new equipment that would double the firm’s production capacity, or fund new recruits so the business could expand its sales team.

“With 50 per cent of disabled adults out of work, removing barriers disabled people face in business is essential,” said Haji-Ioannou. “Self-employment is the only viable option for many disabled people as it offers flexibility and helps bypass much of the prejudice that sadly still exists.”

Last year’s winner was Amar Latif, owner of Traveleyes, a company specialising in tailor-made breaks for visually impaired travellers.

“The £50,000 has meant I’ve been able to invest in my business and over 12 months put in a lot of hard work to watch it grow,” said Latif, “Disabled people experience disadvantage and discrimination in business and enterprise every day, largely through ignorance, and this needs to change.”

The winner will receive a £50,000 cheque at an award ceremony in London on 27 November. The deadline for entries is 5 September.

To download an application form, which must be submitted both by email and post, visit the Leonard Cheshire Disability website

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