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Carers Queensland helping people with disability to be their own boss

Published On: 12 January 2022Categories: NDIS, News

For Bella, having the opportunity to showcase her successful equine businesses to the wider community was the perfect opportunity for the Ipswich local to take part in the Be Your Own Boss Marketplace in December.

Since moving to Queensland in 2020, Bella – who has an intellectual and physical disability – has been selling horse treats, promoting her horse photography, horse rug cleaning and horse agistment businesses.

“I am a horse rider from Special Olympics and I am selling my horse treats to make money and to help people with horses on their property and help others out,” she said.

The marketplace, held on International Day of People with Disability by Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program, was designed specifically to give people with a disability a dedicated space to showcase their microbusinesses to the public.

The marketplace forms a part of the Carers Queensland’s Be Your Own Boss – Microbusiness Project, which aims to empower and educate people with disability to establish or create their own microbusiness through mentoring, peer support and practical experience.

Team Leader for the project, Lisa Larsen, said Carers Queensland brought stallholders together to connect with their peers and discuss expectations and event details in the lead up to the day.

“The project team provided support to the business owners to finalise planning of their individual stalls, including the development of marketing profiles to connect customers to their business and products,” Lisa said.

Along with Bella, the marketplace showcased the gifts and talents of seven other people with disability, some of whom had never participated in a marketplace or attempted to sell their goods before.

Sue is a North Booval local who has a psychosocial and physical disability and is also a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.

Sue said she was excited to sell her handmade crochet wind spinners while also being able to keep her hands busy crocheting more on the day.

“Making these actually helps with my mental health and keeps my mind calm,” she said.

Rebecca – who has an acquired brain injury and anxiety – was supported by her son Bayley to sell her colourful diamond paintings.

Rebecca said she had never sold any of her works before and was anxious to find out if people would purchase her artworks.

“I got into diamond paintings as it helps with my anxiety and helps me to come back to earth,” she said.

Lisa Larsen believes the project addresses some of the barriers for people with disability who are starting or want to start their own business.

“This project not only allows people with disability to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to run their own microbusiness, but also gives them practical opportunities to operate their business in the community, increasing their independence and connections,” she said.

“After participating in the program, Carers Queensland invites those business owners to additional marketplaces to practise their newly learned skills and to encourage ongoing independent engagement with mainstream markets.”

An expression of interest form is available on the Carers Queensland website at https://carersqld.com.au/ndis/be-your-own-boss/ for people who want to take part in the Be Your Own Boss program in 2022.

In the new year, Be Your Own Boss participants will attend information sessions, program overviews and discovery workshops to explore their gifts, talents and business ideas.

A series of business workshops led by volunteer business mentors, will allow participants to build practical skills in relation to running a microbusiness.

For more information, or to express your interest in one of the workshops, complete the form at https://carersqld.com.au/ndis/be-your-own-boss/, contact us on cq.communityandmainstream@ndis.gov.au or phone 1300 999 636.