The National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship (NCDE) at The Viscardi Center provides an in-person and online program divided into phases which reflect every aspect of launching a business.
Each phase of the program features expert trainers and guest speakers and consists of, 90-minute weekly sessions over a 14 to 20 week period. Each session is followed by a Q&A, corresponding assignments with deadlines, tutoring as needed and access to the NCDE’s expert Mentor Team and E-Advisory Council within program guidelines.
The NCDE welcomes participants with all types of disabilities. Learning materials are fully accessible and delivery is optimized for people with different learning needs and accommodations, for example, visual or hearing impairments. Consideration will be given on a case by case basis for participants who express interest in only certain phases of the program.
Overall, the NCDE is strategically positioned to deliver a top-quality resource for any person with a disability looking to launch or expand self-employment as an option.
Each program module of the NCDE curriculum will feature expert guest speakers, engaged trainers/mentors, assignments and deadlines. Please see below for more.
PHASE 1 – SELF-ASSESSMENT
An intensive look at what it means to be an entrepreneur, from your personal goals and the skills required, to the reality of the work involved and steps to success.
PHASE 2 A) FEASIBILITY
Is your business product or service salable/marketable? We’ll examine the marketplace, market trends, your differentiator/competitive advantage, and shine a spotlight on what is possible.
PHASE 2 B) PRODUCT/SERVICE
Now that we know what’s possible, let’s make it happen. We’ll dive into product/service development, strategic business planning, delivering the product or service, including customer attention, supply chain and operational management, dealing with distributors like Amazon, and your technological needs.
PHASE 2 C) COMMUNICATION
The how, where, and when to get your message across with impact and engagement across all constituencies, including customers, employees, management, vendors and the public.
PHASE 2 D) BRINGING IT TO MARKET
Now that you have your messaging down, let’s review the many methods available, including marketing and marketing vehicles, sales approaches, public and media relations, social media, partnering agencies and professional organizations that can help.
PHASE 3 A) FINANCE & OPERATIONS
Let’s talk money! This module includes how to handle the financial and operational side of your business, as well as your personal finances. We’ll offer professional guidance on disability benefits and work incentives, credit, salary expectations, self-sustaining income, determining start-up expenses, creating a balance sheet, a budget, a budget forecast, how to register your business, identify and pitch investors including community support, as well as hands-on experience with accounting/Quick Books, legal matters, taxes and insurance.
PHASE 3 B) CREATING THE BUSINESS PLAN
Time to put it all together! In this module you will work on a complete business plan based upon all you have learned, then rigorously refine and revise, with a corresponding timetable and easy steps breaking down this important and involved process.
Complete the application online and click SUBMIT.