Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Disability is no barrier to becoming a business owner

May 28, 2019

CCS Disability Action is about to launch ‘My Business’, an innovative new national programme which supports, connects and funds disabled people who want to become, or who already are, self-employed.

According to Statistics New Zealand disabled people within the working population have a higher rate of self-employment at 24 percent, compared with 17 percent of the non-disabled working population. Disabled people are more likely to embark on self-employment than the non-disabled population. This phenomenon is replicated internationally. For example, in the United States disabled people are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed. Disabled people therefore have substantial contributions to make to their community and to society through entrepreneurship.

One such person is energetic and driven 23-year-old Blenheim local, Shanae Yates. Shanae has had an interest in health and fitness since she completed an Outward Bound Course in 2014. Having a physical impairment means Shanae spends a lot of time in the gym for rehabilitation and strength training. It is the impact exercise has had on her own wellbeing that’s inspired her to want to train others and to open her own personal training business.

“Exercising has really helped me to mentally accept my Cerebral Palsy. Keeping active helps me to be more in control of my life and my body.”

Shanae will be awarded a Certificate in Personal Training, on 31st May 2019 from Skills Active. It’s not been an easy road and she has faced many knock-backs along the way, mostly from people who underestimated Shanae’s inner strength and determination. “I learned to stand up for myself and have shown others that disability doesn’t brand a person incapable.”

The My Business programme is created by the team at CCS Disability Action, including Dr Jenny Douché who developed the Master of Innovation and Commercialisation programme at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Activate business start-up programme, delivered by the then Grow Wellington (now the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency). The programme is supported by the Open Polytechnic and Findex Community Fund.

My Business provides personalised recommendations, connections and funding for a wide range of business-related support services. Shanae is in the planning phase of My Business and has already identified her business strengths and weaknesses. Where she excels in physical fitness knowledge and is easily able to gain rapport and build strong relationships with her clients, she lacks understanding in financial and practical business systems, such as accounting, laws and taxes. The My Business programme aims to connect Shanae with the business experts in her community and strengthen these parts within her practice.

CCS Disability Action Service Manager for Blenheim, Wendy Greig works alongside Shanae with her My Business goals and says, “The My Business programme has created a new pathway for Shanae to get up and running by connecting her with people in the community to collaborate with and take her business to the next level without the pressure of having to know everything herself.”

Shanae believes her unique selling point is her lived experience of disability. Although her current clients are able-bodied, Shanae would like to serve both able bodied and disabled clientele. “I know what it feels like to be disabled and I understand what disabled people need, to feel comfortable.”

Shanae wants to create her own business over becoming an employee as she wants to educate people that she is capable and her disability doesn’t define her. When asked how she will make a difference, Shanae explains; “I’ve had so many people tell me I can’t do that because I have a disability. My fiancé jokes that no one should ever tell me that I can’t do something, because I’ll always prove them wrong. And now I’m on my way to becoming a business owner.” Shanae is careful to clarify that, while others’ lowered expectations have been a challenge, it’s her internal drive to succeed that keeps her going. “I’m not doing it to prove them wrong; I’m doing this because fitness is my passion and watching people transform and become confident is important to me.”

Jenny Douché will be presenting at the NZDSN Annual Conference, 29-30th May 2019 in Wellington on the topic of self-employment as a viable option for disabled people. The presentation is based on a research paper Jenny wrote, which was subsequently turned into a book authored by CCS Disability Action, called Disability and self-employment. Contact us for a complimentary copy.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>


Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>


Chartered Accountants: COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted

Three months of COVID-19 lockdown and investment turmoil has done little to knock confidence in New Zealand capital markets and listed companies with overall investor sentiment very similar to 2019, an investor survey held in mid June shows. However, ... More>>


Taxation: Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax

Year-on-year increases in consumption of illicit tobacco in New Zealand have seen illegal trade swell to 11.5% of the total market. If consumed legally, illicit products would have netted the Government $287 million in excise tax during 2019. Independent ... More>>


Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>


XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>


Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>


Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>


RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>


NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>


Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>


Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>

DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>