Transform Great Ideas
> Unemployment among people with disabilities is estimated nationally at between 65%-90%.
Across the U.S., statistics indicate persons with disabilities are often employed in positions that pay less than a living wage and offer limited opportunities for advancement and income growth. Start-Up USA was created with the purpose of addressing this issue, with a comprehensive program that supports and empowers participants. An exceptional coalition of disability services providers and partners from the business and economic development sector will guide Start-Up NY enrollees in their entrepreneurial aspirations or help them explore alternative employment opportunities.
Cary Griffin, Senior Partner from Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC aptly spoke to the need for programs that encourage and empower disabled entrepreneurs: "People with disabilities come from all walks of life and include Veterans wounded in action, people with psychiatric disabilities, and young people coming out of special education programs facing an unemployment rate of over 75%. Whether starting an Italian Ice vending business on the boardwalk, operating a car repair garage, or providing computer consulting services, the range of successful business ideas is limited only by the imagination and overwhelming skills of these new owners."
> Start-Up NY:
Start-Up NY is currently funded by a three year grant to Onondaga County from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), to help people with disabilities become self-employed. This is one of three self-employment demonstration projects funded as part of the national Start-Up USA initiative. Other projects exist in Alaska, and Florida, with a central technical assistance center located at Virginia Commonwealth University. Start-Up NY is unique among its counterparts as the only County-operated Start-Up USA project.
Start-Up NY is a partnership between the Onondaga County Office of Economic Development and Department of Social Services, Syracuse University’s Burton Blatt Institute Centers of Innovation on Disability and the Whitman School of Management’s nationally ranked Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises Program.