New-Venture-DevelopmentMy venture development activities for physically and mentally-impaired entrepreneurs will be channelled through an enterprise and research center that will be set up for the activities of those entrepreneurs. The following sets out my outline conception for this center. A full funding proposal is available and has been submitted to research and organization sources of funding.

Project Title: “Disabled” Entrepreneurship? Creating Knowledge, Developing Skills, and Problem Solving for Organizations among Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally-impaired Entrepreneurs

Outline Conception:This outline concerns the establishment of the world’s first Research & Enterprise Cen ter for physically, mentally, and emotionally impaired entrepreneurs.Funding has been sought to establish this Center for an initial period of five calendar years. The estimated required funding will be USD 1.2 million a year over this period, which will include all capital and operating expenses for the Center, including full-time researchers on topics primarily related to physically and mentally impaired entrepreneurs.

The Center will be located at either an EU or a US university based on funders’ preferences. In building its reputation, the Center will be affiliated over the five-year period of its initial funding to one or more of its three academic promoters, in alphabetical order, Prof. Wilson Ng (Regent’s University, London), Dr. André Slowak (University of Roehampton, London), and Prof. Dianne Welsh (University of North Carolina at Greensboro).

The purpose of the Centre will be three-fold. Firstly, the Center will offer business and management consulting services, for example, on creative problem-solving, culture conflict, and human resource issues in organizations. In the performance of this role, the Center would act as a hub for the networks and resources of entrepreneurs and organizations who are affiliated and/or who consult with the Center.

Projects would then be co-developed between enterprises set up by impaired entrepreneurs and organizations worldwide that seek innovative answers to persistent business and management issues. For example, leveraging the promoters’ expertise and contacts, the Center would attract family businesses as collaborators and clients and engage in franchise consulting.

A potentially lucrative area of consulting for the Center would be in university consulting on entrepreneurship programs across campuses. Secondly, serial entrepreneurs in the Center will offer entrepreneurial skills and personal development services for novice entrepreneurs with physical and/or mental impairments. The aim of this facility will be to enhance the development of successful enterprises among impaired people who typically establish enterprises out of necessity.

Equally, the Center would seek to learn from successful and failed enterprises among impaired entrepreneurs and to feed back this learning principally to these entrepreneurs as a core part of their development process

Thirdly, researchers accredited to the Center will conduct and publish scholarly research on entrepreneurial and innovative behavior and activities among impaired entrepreneurs. The aim of this research would be to understand and develop knowledge of processes of opportunity creation among entrepreneurs with a physical, mental, and/or emotional impairment. This aim addresses the current paucity of research on entrepreneurship processes among impaired entrepreneurs. Little is therefore known about new venture creation among impaired people despite the importance of enterprise for their growth and survival.

In addition to the Center’s potential development as a world-class repository of knowledge of enterprise and innovation, it is envisaged that research of impaired entrepreneurs’ processes of venture creation would provide an essential base of knowledge for the Center’s consulting and entrepreneurial training capabilities.In developing these capabilities, insights from the work of impaired entrepreneurs are expected to have significant impact on taught entrepreneurship programs that support the development of entrepreneurs worldwide. These programs would henceforth be based on knowledge and a database of venture creation among a large segment of entrepreneurs who create innovative ventures by overcoming extreme challenges.

The Center’s performance will be reviewed annually & sponsors will determine their continuing support based on this performance. Assuming performance-to-plan, additional funding will be sought from public and private sources at the end of the first five-year period of funding to augment the Center’s reach to disabled communities beyond its initial base.