Rising Above Disability: Three Entrepreneurs’ Inspiring Stories


It is not easy to build a business. For people with disabilities, this can prove even more challenging. About 15% of the world’s population have some form of disability, and they are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than persons without disabilities. Since the typical workplace may not offer opportunities for them, most PWDs actually go into business because they’ll have more control over their working environment and financial freedom. Although it takes hard work and dedication to build an effective business, these business owners have shown that you can still succeed in your endeavors.  

Sumit Agarwal

Sumit, a 29 year old Indian entrepreneur is from Kolkata. He has cerebral palsy, which is a motor disability that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. People with cerebral palsy can find support and assistance in a variety of communities. According to CPFN there are still obstacles people with cerebral palsy must overcome. Sumit has faced many challenges since his childhood and was subject to stereotypes. But despite having four degree in college, Sumit was still denied employment by companies. Millions of disabled people are facing this problem. According to reports, the attitudes and barriers that prevent PWDs from being employed are prevalent.

Sumit made the decision to control his destiny and take charge of it. The PR agency PR Signal, where he is currently a partner and has several clients, was started by him. One of his missions as an entrepreneur is to give equal opportunity for all, saying, “I always wondered why to plead for jobs when one could give others one. I hope my life’s example can help others like me and their parents take a step.”

Charlotte Jones

Charlotte Jones, an English woman from England had always dreamed of becoming a prominent handbag designer. At 16 she was diagnosed by myalgic and orthostatic tachycardia (ME) so she left school to stay home. While Charlotte’s condition is debilitating, that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream. With some support, she was able to launch her own designer ecommerce website (charlotteelizabeth.com) selling her own exclusive designs. She is now a well-known brand and her name has been mentioned by prominent personalities like Meghan Markle.

Austin Underwood

Founder of Austin’s Underdawgs food truck, Austin Underwood has always been passionate about food and wanted to become a chef. Down syndrome is a condition in which a person’s genetic makeup can cause developmental and physical challenges. He didn’t let this stop him from following his dream of being a chef. Austin was 21 when he enrolled at Eastern New Mexico University’s special service vocational program. He then worked in the university cafeteria, but he wasn’t a contender for the chef position because he was never taught how to read. His skills as a cook in the university cafeteria helped him to be a good prep chef and gave birth to his dream of owning a restaurant. He turned it into a reality and started Austin’s Underdawgs, a food truck that sells hot dogs and hosts birthday parties.

Starting a business may have its challenges, but these inspiring entrepreneurs prove that when there’s a will, there’s a way. You can learn from them and experience the success when you aim for the stars. They’ve proven that you can succeed, no matter what difficulties you face every day. 

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