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EYD is developing a model, to be used by school districts and vocational rehabilitation agencies, that promotes entrepreneurship among low-income youth with disabilities. Our goals: 1) to identify the individual and environmental factors associated with self-employment for youth with disabilities; 2) to develop and test interventions that contribute to pursuing self-employment.

OBJECTIVE Heading link

Our research objective is based on a five-year plan to identify the best practices for entrepreneurship education, support and skills. We will also look at barriers to entrepreneurship for youth with disabilities from low-income communities.
  • Year 1

    Understand what helps people with disabilities start their own businesses. Get recommendations for best practices from experienced business owners, particularly those with disabilities.

  • Years 2 and 3

    Develop and implement the Entrepreneurship Curriculum. This will include skill development and training in areas like preparing a business plan, mentoring from business owners and accessing the capital to start businesses.

  • Years 4 and 5

    Examine the outcomes of the Entrepreneurship Curriculum and make modifications and adjustments to maximize its impact. After the Entrepreneurship Curriculum is completed, our research team will provide technical assistance for implementation to interested high schools and agencies.

EYD Pride Heading link

  • 9 So far our curriculum has been used in 9 high schools across Illinois as well as in several community based programs for young adults and transition age youth with disabilities.

  • 12 We've proudly helped launch 12 small businesses in the Chicagoland area,

EYD project phases Heading link