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Thank you for seeking out help in trying to improve your standard of living. Now, let's see if we can help you get the help you need to become an entrepreneur.
Because you have a disability you should first make sure that you have contacted all the necessary sources of help that are there especially for you to help you become self-sufficient. Be sure you check into the following:
We cannot emphasize enough the help that is available from your state. We have known people who have gotten $11,000 to start a business at home and $15,000 to finish a degree because they were suffering from low self-esteem. Terri Handshoe got her college education paid for, as well as had an interpreter and books covered during schooling. Sandy Smith got a $3,000 custom designed telephone system which allowed her to work for a major hotel chain. You can receive:
Your state Vocational Rehabilitation offices want to keep you a productive member of society, and they will do what it takes to get you on your way. If you are denied any of these services, you have several places you can turn for help. The first stop is your state Client Assistance Program. They will help you learn your rights and handle the appeal to get you what you need. They can take your appeal process from the first stages, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary and it won't cost you a penny. Contact: George McCoy, Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, 2801 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699; 919-855-3500; Fax: 919-733-7968; http://dvr.dhhs.state.nc.us
Many people with disabilities want to work, and you're probably one of them. But maybe you need to go back to school before you can get a job. Or maybe you'd like to start your own business, but you don't have the money. Whatever your work goal may be, a PASS can help you reach it. A PASS lets you set aside money and/or other things you own to help you reach your goal. For example, you could set aside money to start a business or to go to school or to get training for a job.
Your goal must be a job that will produce sufficient earnings to reduce your dependency on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. A PASS is meant to help you acquire those items, services or skills you need so that you can compete with able-bodied persons for an entry level job in a professional, business or trade environment. If you have graduated from college or a trade/technical school, they usually consider you capable of obtaining such a position without the assistance of a PASS. You can contact your local Social Security office to find out whether a PASS is appropriate for you.
There are many programs specifically aimed at helping people with low-income or bad credit and who want to start a business. These programs are available because the data show that they work. The Aspen Institute Self-Employment Learning Project studied 405 low-income people who started their own business and found that 53% were able to use their business to get out of being low-income. These businesses also had better survival rates than the average business traced by the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). See http://www.microenterpriseworks.org/about/factsheets/factsheet1.pdf.
There are hundreds, and probably even thousands of national and local programs around the country to help low-income people become self-employed or start businesses. The list below represents a starting place to find the help you need. To locate additional sources, contact your local library or see our publication, "Free Money For Entrepreneurs" at www.lesko.com.
NOTE: There are some items below that do not apply to you directly but I thought it would be good for you to have a complete collection of programs in case you know others than can use this help
Count Me In makes loans of $500 to $10,000 available to women across the country who have nowhere to turn for their first business loan. The Make Mine a Million Business Program offers mentoring and financing to women business owners. A dream team creates the roadmap businesses need to grow from a micro to a million dollar enterprise. First place winners receive loans up to $45,000 from Count Me In, a year of mentoring from a team of business advisors and an OPEN American Express Business charge card. Runners up receive loans up to $20,000. Contact: Count Me In, 240 Central Park South, Suite 7H, New York, NY 10019; 212-245-1245; www.count-me-in.org; Email: email@example.com,
This organization offers accessible business programs, services, financing and positive business-to-business relationships, artists in business program, small business management and counseling to Indian communities. For more details, contact: A Native American Business Network (ONABEN), 11825 SW Greenburg Road, Suite B-3, Tigard, OR 97223; 800-854-8289 or 503-968-1500; Fax: 503-968-1548; www.onaben.org; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are special offices in every state that will help any kind of business. Make sure you touch base with these to see what kind of money and help may be available to you.
* North Carolina Department of Commerce301 North Wilmington StreetRaleigh, NC 27601Mailing Address:4301 Mail Service CenterRaleigh, NC 27699-4301919-733-4151www.commerce.state.nc.us
This office can provide information and expertise in dealing with state, federal, and local agencies. They also have information on financing programs and other services offered by the state government.
*Small Business Development Center Lead Center:North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center5 W. Hargett St., Suite 600Raleigh, NC 27601919-715-7272800-258-0862Fax: 919-715-7777www.sbtdc.org Email: email@example.com
Funded jointly by the federal and state governments, SBDCs are usually associated with the state university system. SBDCs are a god send to small business people. They will not only help you figure out if your business project is feasible, but will also help you draw up a sensible business plan, apply for funding, and check in with you frequently once your business is up and running to make sure it stays that way. Contact them for the local office that can help you.
Wow. You are probably tired just from reading all this, and you haven't even started any of the real work yet. That's the problem with life nowadays. It's a lot bigger and complicated than it used to be. When I grew up in the 50s there used to be just one place to turn to for help, and that one person seemed to know it all. Now times have changed. No one person knows everything anymore. Life's become so complex. Even though I have been studying money programs for over 25 years, and am likely to be the best one in the country at it, I still don't feel like I know it all.
You can't trust a "no" answer anymore. No, just means that they don't know anything. It seems that success in this world goes to those who don't take no for an answer and find a way to solve the problem no matter what the experts say. The experts are wrong too many times to trust them completely.
It's fun to continue to learn new sources of help and new skills for finding money. I always believe that the sources you identify this time and don't use will be of value to you some time in the future, but you just don't know it yet.
I hope our sources give you some help. Hang in there; it's a big world and there are lots of sources waiting to help you, but they won't come looking for you, you have to go looking for them.
Matthew LeskoEntrepreneur and Best Selling AuthorInformation USA, Inc.www.lesko.com