Innovative Practice 2017 on Employment, Work and Vocational Education and Training

Comprehensive support to entrepreneurs with disabilities

Fundacion ONCE is a leading Spanish foundation whose branch operation for the training and employment of people with disabilities, Inserta, has established entrepreneurship as an option for people with disabilities. Support includes counselling, training, guidance, and financial assistance.

“For me, getting my project started is an opportunity to earn a living doing what I like the most: textile design based on riddles.”

Judith MartínezDeaf entrepreneur
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Comprehensive support to entrepreneurs with disabilities
Organisation:Fundación ONCE-Inserta – Entrepreneurship Programme
of Implementation


    • Some 1,500 entrepreneurial projects have been supported since the programme’s founding in 1988
    • Approximately 5,000 persons with disabilities have received support in the form of grants and training through this programme


The lack of support systems and counselling services for people with disabilities in entrepreneurship has made it difficult for them to create start-up companies on their own.


In order to receive a grant by Fundacion ONCE, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
  • Be a legally recognized person with a disability.
  • Be unemployed or being employed but in need of a job improvement.
  • Have the specific qualifications/skills needed to develop a business that is compatible with the disability.
  • Have a business plan, funding sources/liquidity, knowledge about the market, clear strategy, innovation, relevance, sustainability, social impact, and growth potential.
Apart from the support to start the business, Inserta and Fundación ONCE provides more help once the start-up phase is over. They then monitors progress and provide counselling in the first stages of the new businesses; and they organize training sessions in specific areas of business skills, such as marketing and finance, which helps to strengthen and consolidate businesses. They also award grants for individual training in technological and digital skills, which contributes greatly to increasing the survival rate of small businesses and start-ups. A high percentage of businesses are in the field of retail, but due to improved trainings, the projects have become increasingly diverse, including livestock farms and organic gardens, packing stations, recycling businesses, and textile design and production, videogame development, catering and tourism, engineering consultancy, law services and health-related centres.


The annual cost of operations is approximately EUR 300,000 and an additional EUR 750,000 – 800,000 allocated for start-up grants. The programme started at the regional level and has been extended nationwide. There has been good progress in the evolution of the entrepreneurship initiatives among people with disabilities (more diverse projects, higher level of specialization) due to the higher level of qualification and better training of the entrepreneurs.



+34 915068977


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