Our Business Without Barriers hub features inspiring interviews with successful disabled entrepreneurs and personal accounts from employers who are helping to break down barriers to employment. Together with experts and leading organisations, we’re also helping you to make your workplace more inclusive and accessible with free advice, guidance and resources.
Key findings from our FSB member survey
Running your own business as a disabled entrepreneur
Disabled entrepreneurs are an essential part of the UK economy. While some choose self-employment because of a lack of appropriate employment prospects, there are many disabled entrepreneurs who have chosen self-employment to fill a gap in the market, to disrupt a sector, or simply to have control over their own time. Supporting disabled people to establish their own business is a key part of closing the disability employment gap.
After developing post-polio syndrome, Mark Esho MBE wanted to work flexibly and decided to turn his hobby into a successful business. Mark shares his journey and how he's supporting disabled people who want to start their own business.
Julian John is the managing director of Delsion, an inclusion-led people and development consultancy based in Wales. He shares his experience as a disabled entrepreneur and how he’s helping others to overcome barriers.
When Hardeep Rai’s son was born with a severe disability, Hardeep was inspired to use his experience to support disabled entrepreneurs to build ideas that are investable.
With over 20 years’ experience of working with employers to educate and raise awareness about dyslexia, Elizabeth Wilkinson, owner of The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant, shares her journey.
Access to Work is a discretionary grant scheme that provides personalised support to disabled people who are in employment or self-employment, including mental health advice and practical help.
From finance to marketing, get started with free advice and guidance from FSB to help you start and run your own business.
Are you an inclusive employer?
Smaller businesses have a critical role to play in delivering on the Government’s pledge to get one million more disabled people into employment by 2027. Hear from business owners who have experience with making reasonable adjustments and find advice from employment experts.
Fiona Campbell is the Managing Director of Crazy Capers Ltd, a childcare provider based in Scotland. After facing difficulties finding employment due to her own disability, Fiona shares her experience as a Disability Confident employer .
Hannah Thomas, employment solicitor at FSB Employment Protection, answers your frequently asked questions about employing staff who are disabled people and what you need to do as an employer.
Becca Gooch, Policy Advisor at the Federation of Small Businesses, breaks down new research from the Business Without Barriers report into disability employment and explains FSB’s recommendations for Government.
Making your business accessible
Take steps to make your business more inclusive for customers and employees who are disabled people, whether you’re in a retail premises, working on the move, or doing business online.
We’re proud to be working with Leonard Cheshire who have kindly provided a free accessibility audit, which you can download to review how accessible your small business is.
Learn about why it’s important for your website to be accessible to all, including the guidelines in place to promote inclusivity online and the steps you can take as a small business.
How you can make your business premises more accessible for your customers.
Further support and advice
Whether you’re looking to start your own business or make your workplace more inclusive, we’ve curated a list of organisations across the UK offering support, information on grants, resources, training and more.
Looking to grow your business with funding? Search for regional grant funding in England through your local growth hub, find UK-wide business finance opportunities on the government website, and discover FSB Funding Platform’s top tips for funding your business growth
The Department for Work and Pensions has step by step guidance on support with employee health and disability for employers and managers.
Leonard Cheshire: Providing guidance and support for both job seekers and employers to create creating a more inclusive workplace. Leonard Cheshire are also offering free Inclusion training to SMEs in the West of England Combined Authority area, find out more about the IDEA scheme here.
ACAS: Advice on supporting and treating disabled people fairly at work. For employers, managers and disabled employees, workers and job applicants.
Business Disability Forum: Free disability guidance and resources for business covering the law about disabilities, managing adjustments, disabled customers and accessibility.
RNIB: Resources and guidqance to help support your blind and partially sighted employees and customers.
RNID: Free downloadable guide containing free information and tips to help you support employees who are deaf or have hearing loss.
National Autistic Society: Advice on employing and supporting Autistic employees.
British Dyslexia Association: Advice on reasonable adjustments to support dyslexic employees.
Fair Start Scotland: A free service working closely with employers to identify recruitment needs, tailoring pre-employment and in-work support that meets the needs of both employers and participants.
Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF): providing dedicated support for parents with disabilities who face barriers to progressing their careers.
Enable Works: Supporting employers to overcome issues by helping teams design accessible ways of working and training staff in inclusive practices.
Scottish Disability Directory: A comprehensive directory of organisation across Scotland offering guidance and support across a wide range of subjects and local areas.
Access to Work: Practical advice and support to help individuals and businesses with the cost of adaptations.
Workable NI: Supporting employers and individuals in Northern Ireland to adapt their business and develop their employees.
Every Customer Counts: Resources and guidance from the Equality commission for Northern Ireland to help businesses promote accessible services for all.
NOW: Belfast based social enterprise offering recruitment and supported employment, social impact measurement and disability awareness customer service training.
A More Equal Wales: A downloadable practical advice on how to attract, recruit, develop and retain disabled employees and what support is available to help businesses achieve this.
Business Wales Skills Gateway: Resources and support to help small businesses improve employment opportunities and make their premises accessible for disables people.
Disabled People’s Employment Champions: Business Wales Disabled People’s Employment Advisors provide free advice, information, and support to employers across Wales.