Cape Town committed to empowering entrepreneurs with disabilities

The City of Cape Town has announced its commitment to supporting programmes and initiatives that support the growth of businesses owned by entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Cape Town is committed to growing businesses owned by entrepreneurs with disabilities

With November being national disabilities month, the COCT hosted a Disability Entrepreneurship Seminar with the focal theme as ‘Promoting, Encouraging, Supporting Entrepreneurs with Disability’ on 20 November 2020.

The seminar was hosted in collaboration with the national department of Women, Youth and People with Disability, the national department of Small Business Development, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development, and various stakeholders

The initiative of commitment to entrepreneurs with disabilities will be managed by the COCT’s Urban Management Directorate.

Grant Twigg, Mayco member for urban management comments on the city’s commitment to finding effective ways of providing solid and sustainable support to entrepreneurs with disabilities.

“The City believes that economic participation is the most powerful means of empowering people with disabilities. In this regard, the Urban Management Directorate seeks to promote inclusiveness and access for entrepreneurs with disabilities to programmes and incentives.”

Addressing critical access issues

The recently hosted seminar analysed the existing government services that entrepreneurs with disabilities can access.

In relation to this, the seminar covered the challenges and constraints surrounding gaining access to these services offered.

Findings from the event indicated that many of the facilities are not disabled-friendly, with a lack of ramps, sign language interpretation, or information in accessible formats. This hinders entrepreneurs with disabilities from participating in the available training or accessing business development services.

Twigg explains entrepreneurs with disabilities operate their small businesses under strenuously disadvantaged conditions.

“We cannot have an inclusive city if we don’t address the needs of all our residents, including the needs of our residents with disabilities. Entrepreneurs with disabilities face great disadvantages arising from discrimination on the basis of their disability. They are often marginalised and denied opportunities. A majority of entrepreneurs with disabilities operate their businesses under adverse conditions. Not only do they encounter difficulties in finding working premises, markets for their products, and access to finance, but they also have limited access to training in entrepreneurship skills and management.” said Twigg.

Dedicated the creating long term solutions to the challenges highlighted by participants, the seminar has created a plan to ensure that it supports entrepreneurs with disabilities.

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Featured image: City of Cape Town, (Supplied) 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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