Barriers and facilitators to self-employment of persons with disabilities in Gulu district, Uganda
The study examined the barriers and facilitators for self-employment for persons living with disabilities in Gulu district, Uganda. The study specifically sought to ascertain the types of self-employment enterprises persons with disabilities engaged in, the barriers encountered in pursuit of self-employment and the facilitators for self-employment of persons with disabilities. A total of 36 participants were involved in this study. The primary participants included; two groups of persons with disabilities who were self-employed, one group of persons with disabilities who were not self-employed, four key informants who were self-employed persons with disabilities with long history of business success. Two community service officers participated as secondary participants. The participants were purposively selected. Data were collected using focus group discussions and Key Informant interviews while data analysis was done qualitatively using the thematic method. Results showed that persons with disabilities engaged in different types of self-employment, such as small enterprises, crop produce and vending. The barriers to self-employment included; lack of confidence, lack of relevant business knowledge and skills, consumers’ discrimination, lack of access to credit facilities among others. Meanwhile the facilitators that were found to encourage self-employment of persons with disabilities were access to special grants, education and entrepreneurship training, individual motivation. It was therefore concluded that persons with disabilities face different barriers in an attempt to become self-employed. It only depends on whether they meet the opportunities or the barriers. Some recommendations including, skills development for persons with disabilities, increased access to special grants and microcredit.