Top Tips for Disabled Entrepreneurs

In December 2023, three inspirational speakers shared their stories on starting their own businesses and provided advice on how disabled and neurodivergent students can maximise their chances of success as an entrepreneur.

Speakers included:

  • Hardeep Rai, Kaleidoscope – advice, guidance, financial support and mentoring for disabled people starting their own business  
  • Mary Baxter, Light Blue Life Coaching – shared her experiences that led to her becoming a freelance life coach 
  • Martyn Sibley, Purple Goat Agency – shared his experience as a disabled entrepreneur including some of the challenges he’s overcome. 

“Accept that it might not be the right time right now.

Timing – if your idea isn’t working or barrier after barrier come up think about whether its just not the right time for you or your idea.  If you need to focus on your degree/s first then do that firstYou don’t need to do it all at once“Accept that it might not be the right time right now.  You might have to wait for the right moment and that’s part of the process” says Hardeep Rai, Kaleidoscope.  

“If its not fun then don’t do it”

Look after yourself – resilience is a huge part of entrepreneurship and you can only be resilient if you look after yourself in the first place.  “If its not fun then don’t do it” says Mary Baxter, Light Blue Life Coaching. 

Surround yourself with people who understand you and your disability. If they don’t then they will be fundamentally wrong for working with you on your project. 

Don’t rush things – work it through at your pace, at your own timetable. 

Mentorship is crucial.  You may well need different mentors at different points in your journey and/or for different parts of your business.  Set some parameters and goals for your mentoring relationship otherwise you can just drift along chatting about your ideas. Disabled entrepreneurs – mentoring 

Imposter Syndrome – everyone who ever set up any business has felt imposter syndrome.  Be kind to yourself.  Reflect on, and give yourself credit for, what you’ve achieved already.  Resource: When the highly capable don’t realise that they’re highly capable 

Find what your mission is and come back to it from time to time  

Mission and purpose: For Martyn Sibley “having a clear sense of purpose keeps me going when things get tough.”.  For him it’s a belief that the world can be inclusive for everyone.  Find what your mission is and come back to it from time to time to keep yourself motivated.  


Kaleidoscope – Hardeep Rai – Training, Grants, mentoring, networking.  For more information on the Kaleidoscope Entrepreneurs Incubator programme contact Hardeep Rai at 

Purple Goat Agency – Martyn Sibley @purpgoatagency  

Light Blue Life Coaching – Mary Baxter 

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