December 15, 2011
Entrepreneurs with disabilities are often successful in the hospitality sector. We’re just as good at running hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and cafes, conferences and events as anyone else. But sometimes we have to work harder to reassure our customers, contractors, partners and lenders that we’re up to the job. We have to overcome unjustified doubts about our abilities. For some of us there are real mobility and communication challenges. We often have extra costs in terms of equipment, or staff to support us.
The prospects for disabled entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector could be improved through a few simple reforms to communications and procurement, backed up with a change in the attitudes and expectations of partners and lenders in the sector. At the moment we simply don’t have the evidence to draw on when we discuss change and reform with buyers and banks and the organisers of major events like the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
We intend to change that by carrying out a national survey on the experiences and challenges faced by disabled business owners in the hospitality sector early in 2012.
The British Hospitality Association has recently agreed that the expert team of business advisors at Leonard Cheshire Disability, the UK’s largest disability charity, should carry out this work. The results will be used to press for improvements that will open opportunities for disabled entrepreneurs.
The first step is to set up a focus group to shape the survey and formulate the research process.
You could make a huge contribution if you could spend a small amount of time looking at our aims and proposals, online or face to face, we’d really like to hear from you.
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