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Adult Programs
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Self Employment Services

Self-Employment Services provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to own a business with appropriate resources and supports. Self employment is defined as working for oneself with direct control over work and with prices for products and/or services set to make a profit. Services based on the individual’s needs may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Referral to and coordination with community resources for basic business courses if applicable.
  • Purchase of tools/equipment necessary for training and/or entry level requirements for the occupation.
  • Obtaining necessary initial stocks and or supplies.
  • Assistance with start-up legal costs.
  • Assistance with marketing start-up costs.
  • Assistance with accounting costs and financial reviews.
  • Providing appropriate accommodations or assistive technology needed for start-up.
  • Short-term rental payment assistance and required security deposits for business start-up.
  • Assistance with developing the business plan.
  • Acquiring licenses and permits required to lawfully engage in business.

Florida VR recognizes that some individuals may not have previous experience developing a small business but may have skills or an idea that can develop into a small business enterprise. To accommodate individuals who may need assistance in developing a business plan, VR contracts with Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultants (CBTACs) to help individuals develop and implement a viable business plan.

Steps to Self-Employment

Number 1

Initial Self-Employment Exploration Meetings involve the individual meeting with a CBTAC to discuss:

  • Any ideas he/she may have
  • The advantages and disadvantages of self-employment for the individual, and
  • His/her situation

Number 2

Business Concept Development involves discovering business concepts that may fit the individual. This stage of the process looks at:

  • The individual’s natural skills and abilities
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Short- and long-term goals, and
  • Personal factors (e.g., impairment-related condition for employment, monthly income and insurance needs, family and other personal consideration). This information is then used to discover themes and potential business ideas.

Number 3

Market Research and Benefits Analysis involves gathering information regarding the targeted business idea and examing how it fits the individual and how the individual’s support needs will be met. Additionally, information regarding draft financial projects, start-up cost and potential funding sources (VR and others) are identified. If the individual is a recipient of public benefits, an analysis is completed to determine the effects that operating a small business will have on those benefits.

Number 4

Marketing Plans & Business Financials looks at the strategies for busines promotion and profitability to include:

  • The individual’s natural skills and abilities
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Short- and long-term goals, and
  • Personal factors (e.g., impairment-related condition for employment, monthly income and insurance needs, family and other personal consideration). This information is then used to discover themes and potential business ideas.

Number 5

Business Plan Development walks the individual through creating:

  • An Operations Plan that lists the daily tasks and who will complete each
  • A Management Plan that includes all the management activities and who will be responsible
  • A Business Structure selected based on the individual’s personal situation.
  • This is also an opportunity to make any changes to the Business Financials based on newly discovered information.

Number 6

Completed Business Plan links all of the information from the previous benchmarks and tells the story of the individual’s business. The benchmarked include:

  • Overview of the company
  • Description of product or service
  • Summary of market research
  • Identification of the target market, competition and competitive edge
  • Marketing, Management and Operations Plans
  • Financial projections
  • List of funding requested from VR
  • Benefits Analysis, if applicable
  • List of Case Closure recommendations, and
  • Projected implementation hours.

Self-Employment is recognized as an “employment outcome” under the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, contained in Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act (WIOA) and is specified as a vocational service to be provided under the Act.

The Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC) program was established in 2008 to provide support to counselors and individuals with disabilities interested in pursuing self employment as an employment outcome. The program is a systematic process that starts with the person and uses discovery principles to learn about the individual and his/her ideal conditions of employment. From that information, business ideas that fit the individual’s unique capabilities are identified. Information is then gathered on the feasibility of the business idea(s) and a business plan is developed for only the most promising business concepts.

If You Are Considering Self-Employment

U.S. Small Business Administration

Find out what is involved with starting a small business.

Call
800-827-5722

ASL Video
855-440-4960

Florida SBDC Network

Attend small business classes and workshops.

Call
800-634-0245

SCORE

Find a business mentor at SCORE.

Call
800-634-0245

Email
score@score53.org