Self-Employment Starts with You! 

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Results are now available from the Self Employment Starts with You (SESY) study! Three research briefs addressing different topics in self-employment will be released in December 2017. These briefs are designed to for the public, individuals with disabilities, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.


Research Briefs:

About the Project

The Self Employment Starts with You (SESY) study used qualitative and survey data to examine self-employment as a strategy to improve career options for individuals with a psychiatric disability. The goal was to understand the experience of current business owners, and provide useful information to aspiring business owners. 

The people surveyed have a history of psychiatric disability, as indicated by having received mental health services or disability benefits and accommodations, and are operating U.S.-based business enterprises with fewer than five employees. The reports in this series include responses from the 60 self-employed individuals who qualified for and completed the SESY survey in the summer of 2017.

The SESY survey was an important first step in learning about small business owners who have experienced mental health problems. The project was conducted by individuals who identify as having a psychiatric history. This type of research is useful for raising awareness and identifying areas for future research.

Technical Advisory Panel

The project benefited from an advisory panel of technical experts from academia, technical assistance, and small business. The Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) provided expertise in disability policy, mental health services research, and vocational rehabilitation practices, and included several individuals who have personally experienced mental health problems. The TAP provided input on research design, analysis and interpretation of the survey and qualitative interview data. Some of the members of the TAP also served as key informant interviewees in the environmental scan. Dr. Laysha Ostrow, PhD of Live & Learn, Inc. served as the Project Director.

“Workers with Psychiatric Disabilities and Self-Employment through Microenterprise” is supported by funding from NIDLRR Grant No. 90SF0020-01-00

“Workers with Psychiatric Disabilities and Self-Employment through Microenterprise” is supported by funding from NIDLRR Grant No. 90SF0020-01-00

The contents of these reports were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90SF0020-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this report do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.