Community-based day activities and supports for people with learning disabilities
Key task 7 - Micro-enterprises
(summarised from the NDT website)
A small ('micro') business ('enterprise'). Each micro-enterprise is different, so the size, type of business and legal arrangements can vary a great deal. But there are some common characteristics:
- they are built around individuals. They require thinking at the 'micro' level - about this person, with these interests, living in this community.
- they aim to make money, not to give people something to do
- they are businesses seeking out ordinary commercial opportunities They don't generate income through donations or grants (except, possibly, as start-up money) and don't depend on the social care industry. They aim to offer ordinary citizens a product or service for which they'll be willing to pay.
- they are usually 'owned' by one person, and are very unlikely to be shared between more than three. If the micro-enterprise has been created to match one person's requirements, then it's probably only right for that person. And by keeping the ownership to one person, there's the best possible chance that the person will have real control over it.
The amount of income can vary depending on what each person want to achieve. Some people may be very happy if their micro-enterprise makes just enough, for example, to save up over a year and spend on a good summer holiday.
The amount of time they require can vary from a few days a year to full-time. They're designed to suit each person. Some people may want, for example, to run their businesses at events that only take place a few times a year. Micro-enterprises can't be viewed as an option that will necessarily provide an alternative weekday occupation.
The cost of starting a micro-enterprise doesn't need to be high. In fact, Rosimos and Smith recommend that people should never spend more than £300.
People with very high support needs can have micro-enterprises. If a business is set up in the right way, it can make an income with very little effort in return.
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