Autism in Business – The Disability Entrepreneur Awards

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Statistics from the Autism Success Formula* have shown that in the UK, 85% of those affected by autism are unemployed, while of the 15% in employment, only 12% are in jobs that match their abilities.

The Disability Entrepreneur Awards aims to show living proof that there are no barriers that can stop people succeeding in business, no matter the extra challenges that life has provided. It serves to provide hope that despite having a disability or condition such as autism, there will always be opportunities to succeed in business.

As we learn more about autism, it is believed that there are numerous famed inventors, entrepreneurs, and business people that are believed to have been on the autism spectrum. Of these, historical geniuses Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell are just a few who are likely to have been on the autistic spectrum.

The man behind Microsoft, Bill Gates, has also been widely attributed to various Asperger’s syndrome characteristics – although this has never been officially assessed or diagnosed. With some of the world’s leading minds likely to have been on the autistic spectrum, we need to celebrate and promote how challenges and differences can bring so much to business.

The difficulty of social interactions for those with autism can make business difficult, and could potentially make them hesitant from entering the business world. In fact, recent statistics from The Guardian have found that in the US, 8% of autistic adults in their early twenties work outside their home, compared with more than 90% of young adults with learning disabilities or speech and language impairments.

Despite being used as a medical term for more than 100 years, autism is seen as a more recent condition, with Asperger’s syndrome only being added to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1994.

The Disability Entrepreneur Awards will seek to celebrate individuals that have not let autism and other conditions stop them from achieving their goals within the business world, despite the extra challenges and barriers that they are faced with.

The Disability Entrepreneur Awards are open to Essex-based individuals who have a great business idea or run a business and have physical or mental health challenges. Entry is free and closes midnight 31st August. Anyone with a physical, sensory or learning disability, or autism, mental health challenges can apply. Click here to enter now for your chance to win a £2000 cash boost plus a professional business support package.

The Disability Entrepreneur Awards were launched in May this year as part of the Essex BIG Business Boost, a business initiative offering thousands of pounds in prizes and business support to small businesses across the county. It is funded by Essex County Council’s Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) and their Employment and Skills Unit.

* Autism Success Formula

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