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What is a micro-enterprise?

...and other questions

Here you'll find some answers to frequently asked questions and definitions regarding some of the vocabulary we use.

What is a micro-enterprise?

Though there are some slight differences, we use the terms "micro-enterprise" and "small business" interchangeably. The key features of a micro-enterprise are that they employ few people (even only one person), require relatively little start-up capital, and usually provide services or goods to a localized area.

Why is micro-enterprise a good option for people with developmental disabilities?

Self-employment isn't for everyone. It takes hard work and dedication, no matter who you are! However, there are some constraints in traditional employment related to (lack of) accessibility, strict job descriptions, inadequate transportation, and inflexible scheduling that can make it difficult for people with disabilities to find employment that works well for them. Micro-enterprise can be an opportunity for some people to do something they enjoy, on a schedule that works for them, while contributing a valuable product or service to their community. 

What is a developmental disability?

Developmental disabilities as defined by the CDC are "are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime." Examples of developmental disabilities include autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disability, hearing loss, and vision impairment, among others. 

Why do you use the term "exceptional abilities"? 

We believe in viewing people, first and foremost, as people. We choose to focus on the exceptional abilities of those who are often defined by their disabilities, and therefore will use this term interchangeably with "developmental disabilities". Of course, if an individual prefers to use identity-first language for themselves, we support that choice as well!

What are some of the "gaps" in the system?

At Limitless, we often talk about the gaps that need to be bridged. In fact, that's our mission statement: to equip business owners with exceptional abilities by bridging the gaps between their dreams and their success. So, what are the gaps? 

  • Lack of resources for self-employed people with exceptional abilities

  • Traditional funding methods for similar programs do not provide the funds or resources necessary for business start up, continued operation, growth, or expansion

  • Little integration into the community (programs for people with disabilities tend to be completely removed from community life)

  • Difficulty balancing a desire for self-sufficiency and a fear of losing SSI benefits before establishing a successful micro-enterprise