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Open Doors Webinar Series – Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Self-employment as an option for people with disabilities - the positives and negatives of starting your own business

Open Doors InitiativeThe webinar series features entrepreneurs with disabilities who speak about their experiences in starting their own business and the lessons that they learned.

The series is moderated by Professor Tom Cooney (TU Dublin) and was organised by the Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 and is hosted by The Open Doors Initiative.

Webinar 1

Matt McCann (Access Earth) and Niamh Malone (Fatigue Friend) speak about their experiences and what they have learned from their entrepreneurial journeys.

Webinar 2

The speakers were:

Audrey McPartlin (Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection) explained welfare benefits and start-up supports

Larry O'Neill (South Dublin County Partnership) spoke about the training programmes available through Local Development Companies

Eric Lambe (Stepup Ireland) spoke about his initiative which empowers people with disabilities to become entrepreneurs

Webinar 3

The speakers were:

Minister Anne Rabbitte TD - Minister Rabbitte is Minister of State with responsibility for Disability at the Department of Health and the Department of Justice and Equality

Eoghan Hanrahan (Enterprise Ireland) who discussed supports that are available through Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices and other enterprise support agencies

Garrett Stokes (MicroFinance Ireland) talked about the loan packages available from MFI and other sources of finance

Caroline O'Shaughnessy (Cumas Ceangal) spoke about her journey to start a social enterprise that supports people with disabilities who wish to start a business

A highlight of the webinar was the talk by Caroline O’Shaughnessy who spoke about her own experiences in a very candid manner and is a wonderful example of what can be achieved by somebody with a disability who wishes to become self-employed.

Enterprise Supports

Listing of supports available in Ireland

Guide to SME Supports

Local Enterprise Offices

Supporting SMEs Online Tool

Enterprise Ireland

Microfinance Ireland

Citizens Information

Irish Local Development Network

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

Business Regulations

Shared Links From Webinars

Lizzie’s Book Club (for authors)

Writing Support


Kaleidoscope Investments (UK)

Made by Dyslexia

EEG Headsets

Step Up (empower adults with disabilities to become entrepreneurs)

Positive Ability Network

Ezza Dookes Graphic Artist

Green Way Boutique

Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme

Yvonne Beale Design

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