Wroclaw University of Economics, Komandorska 118/120, 53-345 Wrocław, Poland
The purpose of the presented study is to determine whether and to what extent persons with disabilities benefited from the available support to start and continue their business activity and what barriers they encountered in the process of obtaining it.
The following research hypothesis was adopted: disability under certain socio-economic conditions can constitute an inspiration for self-employment.
The survey method, the subject literature and legal acts analysis and review method as well as the analysis of statistical data were used in the course of the study.
The commonly applied systems to increase the activity of disabled people on the labour market, and in particular aimed at providing them with incentives to undertake business activities are based on their right to work and ban on their discrimination. At the same time, various mechanisms of material encouragement for persons with disabilities, focused on stimulating such people to become active on the labour market are also applied. The main financial tools to support self-employment of the disabled people, registered as unemployed in employment offices, were subsidies for starting a business and reimbursement of some part of social security contributions. These instruments did not meet the specific needs and capabilities of persons with disabilities.
In the light of survey results conducted in 2017 in a group of 348 persons with disabilities running a business in Poland in the form of self-employment, the largest group was represented by people with moderate disability – 223 persons, which accounted for almost 61.1% of all respondents. A much less numerous group were people with a mild degree of disability – 81 persons, i.e. 23.3% respectively. The smallest group was made up of persons with the severe degree of disability – 44 people, i.e.: 12.6% of the total number of respondents.
According to the indications of the respondents, the basic source of funding for the business start-up were one’s own savings and the support of the closest family members.
These sources accounted for almost 96% of all the means used to set up a business. The least frequent financial support took the form of the so-called business angels, non-governmental organizations’ funding and loan funds. The subsidies for starting a business activity granted by PFRON [The State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons] and the Labour Fund, i.e. the institutions statutorily appointed for providing support to these unemployed people who seek a way out of unemployment through self-employment, had a relatively small share. 13.51% and 8.62% of the respondents respectively, pointed to the funds received from these institutions.
Disability, self-employment, labour market
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