p-ISSN: 2162-9374    e-ISSN: 2162-8416

2020;  10(2): 55-69


Received: Aug. 28, 2020; Accepted: Sep. 22, 2020; Published: Oct. 15, 2020


Challenges of Entrepreneurs Live with Disabilities to Establish and Expand Their Own Business in Case of Guraghe Zone, Ethiopia

Dereje Kefale, Fuad Hussein

Lecturer at Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopia

Correspondence to: Dereje Kefale, Lecturer at Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopia.


Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Scientific & Academic Publishing.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).


Disability is the major impediments of most disabled peoples to participate in entrepreneurial activities and being self-employed. This may also linked with major challenges like start-up capital, lack of entrepreneurial skill, socio-cultural problems and personal attitude are the barriers which will affect them to participate in entrepreneurial activities. Therefore, this study was aimed to identify and examine the major challenges of persons live with disabilities to start and expand their own business. In undertaking the investigation four independent variables was used (Start-up capital, personal attitude, socio-cultural issues and entrepreneurial skill) and one dependent variable (Entrepreneurial success). To conduct the study both qualitative and quantitative research design was employed. By using simple random sampling method 372 samples was drawn from seven selected clusters and questionnaires were distributed and from these only 326 questionnaires were returned. And the analysis was made by using descriptive statistics like mean and standard deviation and inferential statistics like correlation and regression. From the result of the analysis the major challenges of disabled peoples are identified: lack of start-up capital, personal attitude, and lack of entrepreneurial skill as the major problems which significantly affect the disabled peoples to be successful in business. Finally, it is suggested that the government, financial institutions, disabled peoples and other concerned bodies should eager to help and simplify those challenges.

Keywords: Disability, Disabled entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial success

Cite this paper: Dereje Kefale, Fuad Hussein, Challenges of Entrepreneurs Live with Disabilities to Establish and Expand Their Own Business in Case of Guraghe Zone, Ethiopia, Management, Vol. 10 No. 2, 2020, pp. 55-69. doi: 10.5923/

1. Background of the Study

Disability is a challenging, multifaceted and argumentative problem in the world. As a result many researchers and writers find out and acknowledged different challenges of disabilities. The impression of disability is mostly raised from society regarding the disabled peoples beside to their mental attitude. The society by itself convinces them as they are disabled. Disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. Defining disability as an interaction means that “disability” is not the desire of an individual. The interaction of disabled peoples with the society can be improved through minimizing or avoiding the challenges which impede them in their life (World report, 2011). According to Yeo (2001), disability can be defined as a complex system of social restrictions imposed on people with impairments resulting in a denial of rights and equal opportunities.
Due to their disability most disabled peoples are not employed. For that matter their matter is depend on family or other peoples. According to (Thurik and Wennekers, 2005), self-employment is very important for physically challenged peoples from different rules and regulation perspectives of a country, acknowledging the way running own business among economically disadvantaged groups, providing equal employment opportunity with the non-disabled peoples and avoiding stigma and discrimination. According to Jones and Latreille (2005), it is known that disability affect disabled peoples negatively to be employed and earn an income to survive. It has been suggested by Harper and Momm (1989) that people with disabilities make natural entrepreneurs since having a disability can also be a stimulus for independent problem-solving and innovation.
According to Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), 2019, study conducted on the title 'Quality of life of persons with disabilities in Southern Nations Nationalities and peoples region, Ethiopia, more than half of disabled peoples are unemployed. Even the employed peoples are some employed in government office, some wage employed and only a few are self and group employed. As a result most disabled peoples are in great challenges: lack of money to meet their needs, to participate in social life, to educate, to get health care and lack of awareness from where the finance or loan is sourced to start their own business. As a result, most disabled peoples are not participated in entrepreneurial activities.
Therefore, this study aims to identify the major challenges which may affect disabilities to participate in different entrepreneurial activities in Ethiopia by taking Guraghe Zone as a case area.
Statement of problem
Starting a new venture is full of difficulties whether an entrepreneur is non-disabled or disabled. Several challenges to be entrepreneur are confronted by both non-disabled and disabled person may be too difficult to overcome, including: access to start-up capital, interaction with the benefit system, and finding out about and accessing appropriate training and advice. In addition, disabled people report a lack of understanding and even active discrimination on the part of financial institutions, business consultants, and the employment service. Personal power and financial resource are key input factors for the start-up success and growth of firms. Especially in the case of micro and small enterprises, an individual, usually the owner-manager, must have both technical and managerial skills (Neuberger and Rathke, 2009), but also needs the financial capital to finance start-up costs, necessary investments in equipment, and so on. Harper and Momm (1989) emphasized access to capital and lack of customers as the two major barriers to self-employment by people with disabilities.
In Ethiopia, which is the main target of this study, the source of disability is wrongly perceived as a curse; and a consequence of a sin or wrong doing or evil deeds by parents, ancestors, and the persons with disabilities themselves or supernatural presence. Such thinking can predominantly be ascribed to the traditional (moral) model which associates disability with sin, shame and feeling of guilt (Tirusew, 2006, cited by Yared, 2008). This is historically the oldest model resulting in general social rejection and ostracism, generating a feeling of self-hatred, dependency and hopelessness (Yared, 2008). Similarly, a study on ‘The Development of Special Needs Education in Ethiopia’ by Chernet and Endrerud (2004) showed that despite the large number of people with disabilities, the provision of special education and other services is extremely limited. The inaccurate understanding of disability and its relationship with moral wrong doing forces parents to hide their children with disability at home, to be ashamed of them and to undermine the child’s potential to learn and lead an independent life (Tirusew, 2006). So those studies show the low access of education for disabled peoples can be taken as a factor to be dependent. So these all social and cultural problems may challenge the peoples live with disabilities to run their own businesses. Even if such different studies conducted on the challenges of entrepreneurs and small business enterprises in Ethiopia and also many studies conducted on the nature of disability and social acceptance but there is no any study conducted related to entrepreneurs live with disabilities. Therefore this research aimed to identify the major factor which may challenge the disabled peoples to establish and expand their businesses in Ethiopia, by taking Guraghe Zone as a case area.
Research Questions
This study was conducted to answer the following basic research questions:
1. What is the current state of peoples with disabilities in self-employment?
2. What barriers do people with disabilities face to start and expand a business?
3. What is the impact of entrepreneurial challenges has on the success of entrepreneurs live with disabilities?
Objectives of the study
General Objective
The general objectives of the study were to identify the major challenges which affect the physically disabled entrepreneurs to establish and expand their own businesses.
Specific objectives
Ø To evaluate the current state of the disabilities on self-employment.
Ø To identify the major barriers disabilities face while starting and expand businesses.
Ø To examine the impact of entrepreneurial challenges has on the success of disabilities.
Scope of the study
Entrepreneurship incorporates wide areas of business and managerial practices. Though, it is challenging and uncontrollable to conduct the study in all areas that reviews entrepreneurship in terms of time, finance, and research manageability. Therefore, the scope of this study is delimited to specific context that is the challenge of peoples live with disabilities to start and expand their own business. Specifically the independent variables inculcated in the study are start-up capital, socio-cultural issues, personal attitude and entrepreneurial skills and the dependent variable, entrepreneurial success. Beside to this the study delimited to the case areas in Wolkite, Butajira, Enemur and Ener, Abeshge, Ezya, Cheha and Meskan Woreda's only due to the efficiency of cost, time and difficulty to cover wide area.
Significance of the study
Investigating challenges of disabled entrepreneurs to start and expand business in this complex and dynamic world is believed to have the following importance’s to the academicians, policy makers; and specifically, for the disabled peoples.
Specifically this study is intended to address the following important point as:
Ø It insight the disabled entrepreneurs the factors which may challenge them in business world.
Ø It helps as an input to provide the governments strategic policy in the future.
Ø It helps to make further research and It can be a source of data for other researchers on related topic.

2. Literature Review

Entrepreneurship and Disability
Definition of entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship is defined in different ways by different scholars. Entrepreneurship is the process of finding and recognizing opportunities in business and marketing environment, organizing and planning resources to use this opportunity and using the resources to get profit and maximize wealth. It comprises producing capital through using business resources to establish and run business (Peter Drucker, 1984). On the other hand, entrepreneurship is defined as the processes through which individuals become aware of business ownership then develop ideas for, and initiate a business. Entrepreneurship can also be defined as the process of creating something different and better with value by devoting the necessary time and effort by assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks and receiving the resulting monetary reward and personal satisfaction. In this case an individual should come up with something different and better in order to the named as entrepreneur. And also entrepreneurship is the art of identifying viable business opportunities and mobilizing resources to convert those opportunities into a successful enterprise through creativity, innovation, risk taking and progressive imagination.
Entrepreneurship is a practice and a process that results in creativity, innovation and enterprise development and growth. It refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action involving and engaging in socially-useful wealth creation through application of innovative thinking and execution to meet consumer needs, using one’s own labor, time and ideas. Engaging in entrepreneurship shifts people from being “job seekers” to “job creators”, which is critical in countries that have high levels of unemployment. It requires a lot of creativity which is the driving force behind innovation (Bidyadhar Behera, 2014). In general, the process of entrepreneurship includes five critical elements. These are: The ability to perceive an opportunity, the ability to commercialize the perceived opportunity i.e. innovation, the ability to pursue it on a sustainable basis, the ability to pursue it through systematic means and the acceptance of risk or failure.
The term entrepreneur is mostly used interchangeably with entrepreneurship, but they have defined differently by many authors and researchers. An entrepreneur is any person who creates and develops a business idea and takes the risk of setting up an enterprise to produce a product or service which satisfies customer needs. An entrepreneur can also be defined as a professional who discovers a business opportunity to produce improved or new goods and services and identifies a way in which resources required can be mobilized. An entrepreneur is an individual who: has the ability to identify and pursue a business opportunity; undertakes a business venture; raises the capital to finance it; gathers the necessary physical, financial and human resources needed to operate the business venture; sets goals for him/herself and others; initiates appropriate action to ensure success; and assumes all or a major portion of the risk (Bidyadhar Behera, 2014).
The role of entrepreneur in Economy
Entrepreneurship in recent times has become an important area of study. It is considered to be a solution for creating wealth, generating employment and providing new and better goods and services (Bidyadhar Behera, 2014). Developing the spirit of entrepreneurship among the young has become vital because the government cannot provide jobs for all kinds of unemployed youth and the corporate sector will provide limited jobs only to the best and that too without any job security. Entrepreneurship is simply finding new opportunities to do things better and then seizing the opportunity. With changes like globalization, deregulation, open competition and technological change taking place, our society is becoming an entrepreneurial society. In an entrepreneurial society, individuals face a tremendous challenge.
An entrepreneur is one who innovates and initiates something new. But this may not always be true, practically in less developed or developing countries, where an entrepreneur is often an imitator. Jeremy Boissevain (1997) in his article “Small European Entrepreneurs” mentioned that Entrepreneurs are those who manage enterprise for the pursuit of profit, in the course of which they innovate. And successful entrepreneurs are usually regarded as having self-confidence, achievement orientation, perseverance and resourcefulness. They must be willing to accept risk, to work hard and to save. They must also possess the ability to network – that is, to maintain and cultivate a range of useful contacts. Sometimes, entrepreneurship has been considered as a quality which can be acquired by an individual and is a function of various factors like psychological, socio-cultural, economic etc.
Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Disability has been predominantly defined as having any enduring physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which affects individuals’ interactions and activities and hampers their effective and equal participation in society as other people (Renko et al. 2015). Persons with disabilities are often discriminated peoples with respect to social and economic integration, and this is mostly practiced in developing countries (ILO 2002). Many studies suggest that persons with disabilities frequently are discriminated against which often means that these persons are among the poorest and most vulnerable members of society (Beisland and Mersland 2014).
People with disabilities have long been struggling with getting employment and on the job various challenges, barriers and constraints all over the world (Hwang and Roulstone, 2015). Particularly, disabled people in developing countries encounter more serious employment and workplace challenges and difficulties (Namatovu and Dawa 2012). Scholars attributed these challenges mainly to the lack of a well-established legal and regulation system for disabled people compared to the strong laws that protect disable's rights including their employment in other countries such as the U.S (Moore and Kornblet 2011).
Entrepreneurship is a feasible employment option for people with disabilities (Shaheen, 2016). Maija Renko (2016), verified in its entrepreneurship study considering context specificity and societal dimensions, entrepreneurship among people with disabilities needs to be analyzed and understood in its social context. It also state the role that people with disabilities play in contributing to economic development by fostering social inclusion and employment, often for others with disabilities. Also, indicate to what extent those with disabilities become self-employed out of necessity rather than choice. Existing theoretical concepts and theories in entrepreneurship should be expanded to incorporate explanations for the distinctiveness of entrepreneurship among people with disabilities. However, people with disabilities have no awareness of utilizing the resources, accommodations, benefits, and programs available to them when thinking about entrepreneurship as an employment option. Not only this disabled peoples also face challenges to start and expand their own businesses like financial problems, personal attitude, social challenges, access to education and problems related to rules and regulations (Tihic, Mirza, 2019).
In Ethiopia also entrepreneurship plays a great role for the economic development of the country (Andualem, 2003, Singh & Belwal, 2008, WB, 2013). Mostly small business enterprises are the agents of change for the life standards of the unemployed peoples through providing job opportunity. Not only creating job opportunity also different advantages like job experience, skill and knowledge is organized while employed in Ethiopia (Zuzana, etal, 2013). Market environment also balanced to some extent through the production of different products and delivering to the consumers. So, the needs and the requirements of peoples or consumers are fulfilled through the business enterprises which are established by entrepreneurs (Ethiopian Economic Association, 2019). And also government income through taxation and import export business practices is increased through time in expansion of entrepreneurial activities (Wolday, 2015). So, an entrepreneur can be a change agent in the economic development of the country. But most disabled peoples are not participating in entrepreneurial activities. To understand the reason why most disabled peoples do not participate in entrepreneurial activities some challenges are discussed below.
Challenges of entrepreneurs live with disabilities
There are many challenges that will hinder peoples with disabilities to run their own business and be self-employed. In this context some challenges like lack of start-up capital, limited access to education, infrastructural problems, socio-cultural factors, personal attitude, lack of entrepreneurial and managerial skill and Rules, regulation and governance will be discussed.
1. Lack of start-up capital
Financial capital is vital for establishing enterprises and run businesses. Every entrepreneur needs money to be successful in entrepreneurial practices. Not only disabled peoples most people's lack financial capital to start their own business and to expand it. This may be due to lack of awareness of source of capital, limited access of financial institutions and lack of credit facilities (Maija Renko, 2015). It verifies that disabled peoples do not get start-up capital easily because the financers want to evaluate the competence and level of disability to release fund for them. Maziriri & Madinga (2016), also revealed that most disabled peoples challenged to get start-up capital and as a result their only choice is to use own minimum capital if they will have it. The sources of funds should be informed to disabled peoples. There is no structured way of working in financial institutions to serve and help disabled peoples. Even disabled peoples are discriminated (Ahmar Uddin Mohammed, 2015). Persons with disabilities like other poor people have entrepreneurial skills necessary to carry out their business but would be constrained by lack of funds due mistreatment of financial institutions and credit unions. Boylan and Burchardt (2003) also reveal some challenges of organizing start-up capital (e.g. lack of own financial resources, poor credit rating, disinterest / discrimination on the part of the banks) as a major problems facing people live with disabilities to establish own business. In Ethiopian cases Muleta and Mohammed (2019) conduct a study on socio-economic challenges of peoples live with disabilities and reveal as most disabled peoples in the country are economically disadvantaged due to lack in economic service like start-up capital and different economic resources.
2. Socio-cultural challenges
Disability in different society interpreted wrongly as it is given from god because of their sin. As a result they are stigmatized and discriminated in the society. Again most peoples have a bad attitude on their ability to work and equal participation in social life. Even some believe that if they meet the disabled peoples, they will get disabled (Yared, 2008). Therefore they do not want to contact them and do not use their products. Even, their families also fear of societies claim and stigma and want to hide their disabled child at home. World Health organization (2011), also stated the disabled peoples are mostly discriminated and isolated by the society from different social participation. This may demoralize them to be an entrepreneur because they will fear of risk and losses since the society may not use their goods and services.
Disabled peoples are not supported to be employed in different government institutions and private organizations. Even they are not motivated to be self-employed because of their disability (Balcazar, etal, 2014). Socio-cultural (norms and views toward disability and underestimating disabled capabilities) was also stated as a challenge of disabled entrepreneurs by Bagheri and Abbariki. In most developing countries there is a limited and weak social service from the disabled peoples association and their households. In Ethiopia where this study is conducted there is a challenge disabled peoples faced from the society like discrimination, stigma, underestimation and the like (Birhanu, 2015). Even in family a disabled person is considered as not capable and weak to work and contribute for the family income and remain dependent on other (Muleta and Mohammed, 2019). They are also marginalized from different social services like education, health service, transportation access, giving priority in public services and the like. This means most services are not inclusive (Yohannis, 2013, WHO, 2011).
3. Personal Attitude
Mostly people has a belief disability is given from God due to the sin their family did and the disabled nothing to perform. As a result disabled peoples are left without consideration from society and concerned bodies. Even these peoples are having no good relation with different classes of the society (National Organization on Disability, 2010). This weak social relationship with disabled may create a bad attitude in the mind of disabled peoples to participate in business activities because they assume as the society will not use their goods and services and even they may not believe their ability to work. Personal attitude is a major problem that will hinder disabled peoples to get an opportunity and lessen their social relationship since it result discrimination and stigma (Wapling & Downie, 2012). Because of the impact raised from the society and culture disabled peoples perceive as they do not have a skill and ability to work. Rather than running their own business or searching job they want to beg to overcome their life and to have money. Less in support and motivation due to the feeling of inferiority also create a bad attitude among the self-employment of disabled people. Physically disabled persons may lack confidence and capability to work own business. And also lack in courage and support from other may lead to fail in their business performance (Foster, 2010). A study conducted in Ethiopian cases by Yohannes (2012) reveal as attitude is a barrier which excludes people with disability from employment and different social services. Birhanu (2015) also indicate most peoples with disabilities thought themselves as hopeless, weak and incapable to participate in business. As a result they remain dependent on other to survive rather than creating own business.
4. Entrepreneurial skills
In order to be an entrepreneur entrepreneurial skill should be required. So, peoples live with disabilities need to be developed their entrepreneurial skill and knowledge through entrepreneurship training and education (Maziriri & Madinga, 2016). Entrepreneurial skills may include the way the business opportunities will be identified, selection of business idea, preparation of business plan, organizing start-up capital, establishing venture and formulating expansion strategies and policies. Therefore, the disabled should develop those entrepreneurial skills to have their own business and enterprises'. Providing training for disabled peoples regarding developing business idea, preparation of business proposal (plan), design of production, directing financial resources and hiring skilled man power may lead them to business success (Mohammed & Jamil, 2015). To develop the entrepreneurial skill of disabled peoples the education system should be inclusive. According to Yohannis (2012) in Ethiopia there is not inclusive education system to educate disabled peoples and enable them to be skilled and capable for self-employment. As a result they are demotivated to learn by adapting those unsuitable education environments. There is no good environment created to learn specifically building without rap, transportation, health service and the like (Birhanu, 2015, Muleta, 2019).
Empirical review
To rationalize the study and further understanding previous researches and variables related to the challenges of entrepreneurs living with disabilities was reviewed in this section:
In 2012, study titled with 'Entrepreneurs with disability in Uganda' was conducted by Namatovu and others, in Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. The purpose of the study was to evaluate entrepreneurs with disabilities challenges and successes. To conduct the study three stage research designs was employed: 1) Secondary research (collect data from existing documents), 2). Purposive method and 3). Documentary film, by asking about business life of disabled entrepreneurs. Accordingly, the data was collected through semi-structured questionnaires by selecting 97 entrepreneurs with disabilities, semi-structured interviews with 8 entrepreneurs, semi-structured key informant interviews 5 experts, case studies with one individual and video filming by using participants. The collected data was analyzed by using SPSS for the quantitative data tools like frequencies, percentiles, tables and charts used. The qualitative data described and interpreted using social and psychological context. The result of the analysis indicates that most disabilities are dependent and begging due to lack of employable skills. They also lack start-up capital, since the financial institutions do not deal with disabled peoples. Disabled which start business operate in unregistered enterprises, in poor open roadside makeshift structure due to lack of infrastructural facilities for disabled peoples. The governments little effort to give training on business skill for disabled peoples and lack of support from government and non-government organizations also some other challenges of the entrepreneurs with disabilities to be successful in their business. Even if, the study identified these all challenges, the impact those variables have on the success of entrepreneurs and the correlation between the variables with success not analyzed. Beside to these, the study is limited with few variables environmental aspect, education and training and source of capital only. Some other challenges that will affect entrepreneurs like entrepreneurial skill, managerial skill, socio-cultural issues and they are not included.
A study by Margaret Wanjiku Mwangi (2013), on a title 'Factors that affect the success of physically challenged entrepreneurs in their business activities: A survey of Thika Municipality-Kiambu County, Kenya' was conducted to identify the factors that will affect the success by the physically disabled entrepreneurs. The design of the research was survey and snowball technique were employed to select 27 samples from physically disabled peoples. The data was collected using interviews, questionnaire and observation. The finding of the research showed that the prominent barriers to start own business with physically disabled peoples are obtaining start-up capital, lack of suitable premises, and mobility barriers in the environment. In this study not all factors are identified and even the impact of the identified challenges not examined by using convenience statistical tools.
On the one hand a study was conducted in Tanzania on 2014, with title 'challenges facing people with disabilities and possible solutions in Tanzania' by Uromi and Mazagwa. The objective of the study was to identify the nature and challenges facing people with disabilities. The study used secondary data and review different previous studies related to the topic and identified different challenges of disabled peoples to fulfill their social needs. Challenges like lack of health center infrastructure, discrimination from society to be employed, lack of physical power, poverty (lack money), limited access to information and bad attitude from society are identified in this study. But the study does not focus on the challenges of disabled entrepreneurs to be self-employed or run their own businesses.
A study was also conducted by Viriri and Makurumidze (2014), entitled 'Engagement of disabled people in entrepreneurship programs in zimbabwe'. The study aimed to identify the factors which affect the business growth and performance of businesses run by entrepreneurs with disabilities in Zimbabwe. The research design is exploratory in nature since it intends to identify major factors related entrepreneurs with disabilities. A snowball sampling method was used and 30 sample individuals (16 female and 14 male disabilities) were selected. A qualitative and quantitative approach was employed to gather and analyzed data. The study focused on the relationship between lack of capital, entrepreneurial training and development and networking in entrepreneurship with engagement in business. Accordingly the regression and correlation analysis used to state the relationship. So, it indicate that the performance of the business run by disabilities not explained by government funding. In addition the result of the analysis show most business do not registered (due to beaurocracy), most people's do not participate in training (the chi-square also indicate that the disabled peoples do not supported by training) and peoples with disabilities are not partially networked with key stakeholders like customers, suppliers, global markets, internet services and government agencies. Again these study also do not include other major factors like managerial skill, entrepreneurial skill, personal attitudes, infrastructural issues and the like.
A research entitled 'Entrepreneurial barriers faced by disabled in India', by Mohammed and Jamil (2015) was conducted to highlight the barriers of disabled entrepreneurs and to find out if these barriers are different than those faced by other entrepreneurs. A sample of 150 disabled and 150 non-disabled entrepreneurs are selected and data were collected through using questionnaire and interview. The collected data was analyzed by multinomial logit regression. In this study variables like market prejudices, business contacts, access to finance, experience, role models, self-belief and government support. Beside to this, the study lack in including some challenges like socio-cultural issues, managerial skills, education, infrastructural issues and the like.
In 2017, Maziriri and Madinga conducted a research on the title 'A qualitative study on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs living with physical disabilities within the Sebokeng Township of South Africa'. The study aimed to investigate the challenges that will hinder the success of entrepreneurs living with disabilities in the selected case area. The data was collected through interview (30 entrepreneurs), focus group discussion (23 participants in three groups) and observation (15 entrepreneurs observed). The challenges identified were education and training, lack of access to finance, inadequate government support and lack of equipment. Even if the study identified these all factors not the only challenges that will impede the success of entrepreneurs living with physical disabilities. Personal attitude of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial skill, managerial skills and challenges faced from the society and culture should be considered.
Finally, a study was conducted on the title 'challenges faced by people with disability for getting jobs: Entrepreneurship solution for unemployment' by Rozali and others (2017). The study analyzed the challenges that disabled people faced in obtaining employment. Accordingly, the challenges it observed are perception and discrimination, environments work place, motivation, family support, education, and vocational training are the barriers that will limit disabled peoples to be employed in government and non-government organizations. So, the study indicates entrepreneurship as a best solution to get a job for the disabled peoples. But the study did not identify the barriers that will hinder the disabled peoples to be successful entrepreneurs.
In general these all studies are conducted related to the barriers that the disabled peoples faced to engaged in their own businesses in different countries. But there is no any research conducted in Ethiopian cases and the selected case area on the topic. But, some studies and reports indicate some challenges of disabled peoples to be employed. Muleta & Mohammed (2019) conducted a research on the socio-economic impact of disabled peoples in Ethiopia and reveal most disabled peoples are challenged by society’s attitude and cultural belief. In 2012, Yohannis also conduct a study on the challenges of disabled peoples it indicate transportation, education and other services is not inclusive. Birhanu (2015) also indicate attitude of the society has an impact on the confidence and ability of the disabled person (Birhanu D., 2015). There is also lack in entrepreneurial and work skill due to lack in inclusive education system in the country (Abdulfetah M., 2018). Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the major factors that will affect the entrepreneurs live with disabilities beyond the challenges identified by the above discussed researches and evaluate the impact of the identified factor has on the success of the entrepreneurs.
Conceptual Frame work
As discussed so far in the literature under the title of challenges of entrepreneurs live with disabilities so far many author and researcher explains different challenges which may face the disabled entrepreneurs. Therefore the challenges are taken as independent variables and the success of disabled entrepreneurs to establish and expand own business is taken as dependent variable. In general those factors are clearly stated by using diagram as follows:
Figure 1. Developed by the researcher
The problem is raised from the government, society and the disabled peoples. Its nature will be related to social relation, environmental challenges and business resources. These peoples may lack financial (start-up capital), material resources, human resources, information and knowledge. As a result entrepreneurs with disabilities may not compete equally with non-disabled entrepreneur in the business environment. Even due to the impact of social and cultural impact most peoples may not take a product and service from disabled peoples. So, this may be one challenge in the marketing environment. Hence, being disabled may turn into a competitive disadvantage when a disabled entrepreneur faces competition from non-disabled entrepreneurs. Beside to this access of education for disabilities can also determine whether they are to be an entrepreneur or not.
The dependent variable in this study is entrepreneurial success. So, to measure the impact of those independent variables has on the dependent variable certain measurement should be addressed to measure the dependent variables. Accordingly, entrepreneurial success will be measured based on the trend in which the entrepreneur perform. Some of the indicators are raise in the potential of the entrepreneur, fulfilling the precondition to start a business and change in attitude.

3. Research Methodology

Research design
The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research design. The qualitative approach enabled the researcher to highlight the perspectives held by the disabled entrepreneurs in regard to the activities they do and the challenges faced. Through this research design, the researcher was able to gain insight into the experiences of the disabled in business from their own perspectives. In addition, this research design was flexible, Bogdan & Biklan (1982), and provided an opportunity to obtain information that was rich with details to better understand the phenomenon of disability and entrepreneurship. The qualitative approach was triangulated by the quantitative approach which enabled the researcher to fulfill the objectives of the research. Wright (1995) argues forcefully that by combining qualitative methods to quantitative methods, the resulting results would be much more meaningful and would have greater probability of being valid, of actually measuring what it purports to measure.
Data source and instrumentation
To undertake this study both primary and secondary data was collected. The primary data has been collected by distributing structured questionnaires for the employees and by observing the case area while secondary data will be collected from internets and different books related to entrepreneurship. The questionnaire contains two types of questions. The first part contains respondent’s demographic information. And the second one contains objective questions on the challenges of disable entrepreneurs. The questionnaire developed by using Likert five scales and Dichotomous questions (yes or No).
Population and Sampling technique
This research intends to assess the challenges of disabled entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses in case of Guraghe Zone. There are 13 Woredas and two cities in Guraghe Zone. Therefore multi-step sampling technique is used to select the case area and to determine a representative sampling technique. Firstly the scope of the case area is delimited to 5 Woreda's and two city administration, which are selected by the researcher using purposive method. Those are Wolkite, Butajira, Enemur and Ener, Abeshge, Ezya, Cheha and Meskan Woreda's. Those case areas are selected purposively by considering the number of disabled peoples in each woreda's.
Thus, to determine the sample size the researcher preferred to use a method developed by Yemaneh (1967). Accordingly from the total disabled 5,130 in the selected area 372 will be selected which is determined as follow with in a confidence level of 5%.
Let error (e) = 0.05
Population size (N) = 5130
Sample size (n) = N/ 1+N (e) 2
Again those 372 samples will be selected from each case area using proportional techniques as follows:
sample from each area = sample size ÷ total population × population size in the case area
Table 1. Sample size determination
The determined sample size will be drawn from the target population by using convenience sampling technique. Because, the population is dispersed throughout different areas, it is very difficult to find them easily.
Reliability Test
Cronbachs alpha is a coefficient of reliability. It is commonly used as a measure of reliability of a psychometric test score for a sample of examinees. It was first named by Lee Cronbach in 1951, as he had intended to continue with further coefficients. Hence, according to Lombard (2010), Coefficients of .90 or greater are nearly always acceptable, .80 or greater is acceptable in most situations, and .70 may be appropriate in some exploratory studies for some indices. By tracing this literature the researcher tested the reliability of the items which were developed for respondents. Therefore, as shown in table below the reliability of the whole items is 0.936 which means the whole items were reliable and acceptable because as Lombard stated coefficients of 0.9 or greater are nearly always acceptable.
Table 2. Reliability Statistics
Data Analysis procedure
As the collected data will generate both qualitative and quantitative data, the first task will be summarize, categorize and code all qualitative responses into numeric values and then enter them in statistical program, so the quantitative data for analysis of various parameters.
Information obtained from open ended questions and interviews with different peoples mostly analyzed in form of verbal/narrative information. These will be written down during the survey and summarized. This information is more qualitative in nature and used to support the coded qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Descriptive statistics; sum, mean, and percentages are presented in tables to enable easy interpretation and quick visual comparisons of variables within the study area. And also other appropriate statistical tools like correlation analysis will be used.
Model specification
From the conceptual framework stated in the literature review the researcher developed the following linear regression model to identify to what extent those factors (Independent variables) have an impact on the success of disabled entrepreneurs (dependent variables). It is mathematically developed as follows by using multiple linear regression equation:
Where, Y= Entrepreneurial success
β 0= Constant
Change of y due to the impact of those variables
Finance/start-up capital
Socio-cultural challenge
Personal attitude
Entrepreneurial skill
Possible error

4. Result and Discussion

This chapter deals with presentations, discussion and interpretation of the data collected through questionnaire and interview. The discussion particularly focuses on respondents profile, challenges of entrepreneurship and challenges of disabled entrepreneurs.
Out of 372 questionnaires distributed to respondents 326 were returned (accepted). This accounts for 87.6% of response rate. Thus, based on the responses obtained from the respondents data analysis and presentation were made as follows.
Analysis and presentation of respondent’s demography
The demographic profile of the sample respondents is presented and analyzed below. The purpose of assessing respondents’ age, sex, is that, to determine whether the researcher considered heterogeneity of sample units. On the other hand assessing the work experience and education level of the respondents’ is that, when the respondents are more experienced and educated they have better opportunity to understand the case and give better response than else.
Table 3. Sex of respondents
Gender frequency of the respondents shows that the numbers of male respondents are more than female respondents. This is 51.8% of the respondents were male, while 48.2% were female respondents.
In this study, the table below implies that most of the respondents were between 26-35 ages. This group covers 51.2% of the respondents.
Table 4. Age of respondents
The next age group is respondents gain between ages 18-25 which shows percentage age of 26.4%. In addition, 36-45 age groups represent 18.7% and respondents between age of 46-55 years are 3.1%. At last, 2 (0.6%) respondents found in age group of above 55 years.
As shown below in table 5 the highest education level attained by most of the respondents was below grade 10 which represents, 42.9% (140) out of the valid respondents and followed by grade 10 completed which accounts 26.4% (86). From the total respondents 8% (26) are complete grade 12, certificate holder are 4.9% (16), diploma holders are 1.8% (6) and 0.6% (2) of them are degree holders. The left 15.3% (50) of respondents are illiterate which means they do not get education chance.
Table 5. Education level of respondents
Table 6. Current job
As the above table indicated 62.9% (205) of the total respondents are unemployed. But the left 31.6% (103) are self-employed, 2.5% (8) are government employees and 3.1% (10) are employed in non-government organization.
Descriptive analysis on Challenges of Disabled entrepreneurs
As it described in the methodology part, the designed method is descriptive statistical analysis to analyze the objectives developed for this study.
In addition to the quantitative analysis, the qualitative information obtained from the respondents through questionnaires and interview is used to analyze the following issues. The analyses were on: Challenges of entrepreneurs live with disabilities like, like startup capital, personal attitude, socio-cultural issue and entrepreneurial skill and entrepreneurial success.
The above listed items are the most critical parts of the objective and basic research variables of this paper. Therefore, the discussion of the above components will answer the basic research questions and meets the stated objectives of this study. For the analysis of all these variables, descriptive and correlation analysis is used.
Particularly mean value of the respondents has considered as an important indicator to the extent of the entrepreneurial practices on each items. To conclude, the overall performance of the entrepreneur’s practices on each variable, group mean was calculated and used.
The mean and group mean statistical values approaching to 2.00 and less indicates disagree and strongly disagree, 3.00, neutral while 4.00 and 5.00 indicates agree and strongly agree of the company on that particular item and variable respectively.
1. Access to startup capital
People with disabilities tend to have lower incomes as well as lower household net worth (Heller and Parker Harris, 2012). Even in Ethiopia most of the disabled peoples are live in poverty, because as the result of analysis made in background of the study most of they are unemployed. Therefore, since seed funding for a new business largely comes from the entrepreneurs themselves people with disabilities are at a financial disadvantage. Based on this the following data is collected to ensure whether the disabled peoples lack startup capital.
Table 7. Descriptive Statistics on access to capital
According to the above table, the mean result of each item is high which indicate the existence of those all problems. Specifically, the mean result of the item lack of adequate investment capital is 4.22, which means disabled peoples lack capital to start their own business. In addition to these there is also a problem to find capital from financial institutions and banks since the result shows that there is lack of access to capital from financial institution (4.25), impose high interest rate (4.1) and they demand unreasonable collateral to lend money (4.03). There is also lack of subsidies from government (4.21) to support disabled peoples to start and expand their own business.
2. Personal Attitude
In entrepreneurship own attitude may affect the success of the entrepreneurs in starting and expanding businesses. Because, first of all as an entrepreneur everyone has to be convinced as hard worker and skillful and able to engage in business and will be successful. But most of the time disabled peoples have no good attitude on their abilities, they understood disability as inability. Accordingly the data were collected from the respondents to see their attitude on their workability and entrepreneurial ability. So, as the result of analysis of the data presented in the table below the mean of each items ranged above average (2.57- 2.94) which means the disabled peoples has no good attitude on their ability to work. Mostly they don't believe in hard working (2.94), they lack moral compass to participate in business nearby non-disabled peoples (2.65), they adopt wrong orientation and attitude to work (2.61), they have a bad attitude on their innovativeness and creativity (2.99) and have a negative perception (2.57) on their successfulness if they engaged in business.
Table 8. Descriptive Statistics on personal attitude
3. Socio-cultural factors
People with disabilities are less likely to report socializing with friends, relatives, or neighbors suggesting differences in the composition of social relationships (National Organization on Disability, 2010). According to Manev et al (2005) disabled entrepreneurs are socially excluded, stigmatized and marginalized and consequently their network ties and cohesion in business circles are weak and frail. United states department of labor (2013), office of disability employment policy, identified major barriers of disable entrepreneurs like attitude and views, inconsistent expectation, funding challenges, know-how and fear of risk. In Ethiopia, which is the main target of this study, the cause of disability is wrongly perceived as a curse; and a consequence of a sin or wrong doing or evil deeds by parents, ancestors, and the persons with disabilities themselves or supernatural presence. Such thinking can predominantly be ascribed to the traditional (moral) model which associates disability with sin, shame and feeling of guilt (Tirusew, 2006, cited by Yared, 2008). This is historically the oldest model resulting in general social rejection and ostracism, generating a feeling of self-hatred, dependency and hopelessness (Yared, 2008). Therefore within the ground of the above facts data were collected from the disabled peoples on the socio-cultural impact of their entrepreneurial activities and analyzed as follows:
Table 9. Descriptive Statistics on socio-cultural issues
So as we have seen from the table 9, there is no proud nature of the society on disability (3.48), because they have a negative attitude towards the disabled peoples (3.43). Disabled entrepreneurs are highly corrupted and stigmatized (3.64). As the results of the interview made with disabilities, mostly the society belief disability is given from God because of the sin they done. Because of this bad attitude the family of the disabled person will not sent to school and do not allow to participate in social activities, hide them in closed room.
The society also have negative perception on the products and services delivered from disabled peoples (4.03), they believed the disability is transmitted to the normal through using their products and services. As a result they got into risk and face unhealthy competition in the market (3.55). Beside to these there is no secured environment (3.68) to run their business due to the challenges they face from the society.
4. Entrepreneurial Skill
Whether a person is disabled or non-disabled in order to run own business or to be an entrepreneur should develop their entrepreneurial skill. In entrepreneurial practices the way to identify business opportunities, preparing a business plan, operating and expanding business and identifying market are basic skills that an en entrepreneur need to have.
Table 10. Descriptive Statistics on entrepreneurial skills
In the above table mean result of the first item, lack of skill and knowledge to perform job, is 3.30 with a standard deviation of 1.436. This implies the disabled employees lack skill to perform entrepreneurial activities. These are due to inaccessibility of inclusive education system and inaccessibility to training program on entrepreneurship since the mean result indicates 3.99 in the above table. These also results most of the disabled peoples has no skill to prepare a business plan (mean 3.83) and introduce their business.
There is lack of business research (mean 3.97) which enables entrepreneurs to identify business areas and opportunities and to overcome challenges. In addition to these all there is no well-structured entrepreneurial system (mean 3.98) which will motivate peoples to enter a business environment and become an entrepreneur.
Analysis of Correlation and Regression
As discussed further in the research framework part of these paper, there are many factor which affects the success of disabled entrepreneurs. Some of them are start-up capital, personal attitude, socio-cultural issue, infrastructural issue, entrepreneurial skill, managerial skill, rules, policies and governance and the like. So in order to understand which factors have an effect and which have the most important effect on the success of disabled entrepreneurs the researcher used a multiple regression and to show their relationship correlation analysis is used.
The Pearson correlation
This research is investigating the strength of relationships between the studied variables. The study employs the Pearson correlation which “measures the linear association between two metric variables” (Hair et al., 2008). The Pearson correlations were calculated as measures of relationships between the independent variables and entrepreneurial success. This test gives an indication of both directions, positive (when one variable increases and so does the other one), or negative (when one variable increases and the other one decreases) (Pallant, 2010). The test also indicates the strength of a relationship between variables by a value that can range from -1.00 to 1.00; when 0 indicates no relationship, -1.00 indicates a negative correlation, and 1.00 indicates a perfect positive correlation (Pallant, 2010). For the rest of the values is used the following guideline: small correlation for value 0.1 to 0.29; medium for 0.3 to 0.49; and large for 0.50 to 1.0 (Pallant, 2010).
The correlation analysis result is in table below. The significance level of correlation between the dependent variable entrepreneurial success and independent variables is not larger than 0.05 for variables start-up capital (0.000), personal attitude (0.000), socio-cultural issues (0.012), and entrepreneurial skill (0.000). This indicates a high statistically significant value.
Table 11. Correlations
The Pearson correlations between independent variables start-up capital, personal attitude, socio-cultural issues and entrepreneurial skill and the dependent variable entrepreneurial success presented as follows.
The results indicate that all variables are with positive sign. This indicates a positive correlation with the dependent variable entrepreneurial success. The strongest correlations between the dependent variable entrepreneurial success and independent variables have: start-up capital (0.799), personal attitude (0.622), socio-cultural issues (0.139) and entrepreneurial skill (0.808). This all variables have a strongest positive correlation with the dependent variable except socio-cultural issues which has a weak positive correlation since the result of correlation close to zero (0.139).
Regression analysis
To analyze the conceptual framework several independent variables were entered into the multiple regression equation: start-up capital, personal attitude, socio-cultural issues, and entrepreneurial skill. The model summary in Table below presents how much of the variance in the dependent variable entrepreneurial success is explained by the model. The coefficient of determination denoted as R square is 0.804. The value of the R square indicates that 80.4% of variance in the variable entrepreneurial success is explained by the model. This value gives a respectable result.
Table 12. Model Summary
Table 13. ANOVAa
To check overestimation of the model the adjusted R Square should be considered. The adjusted R square is 0.801 and it indicates an overestimation of the model. The regression model is statistically significant since the probability level is 0.000.
The problem of multi collinearity is possible to check in Table above under the section of Collinearity Statistics. If the value of Tolerance is less than 0.1 it indicates that multiple correlation with other variable is high and it indicates a possibility of multi collinearity (Pallant, 2010). Tolerance is “an indicator of how much of the variability of the independent variable is not explained by the other independent variables in the model and is calculated using the formula 1-R squared for each variable” (Pallant, 2010, p.158). In this research the Tolerance values do not indicate problem of multi collinearity. This result is supported by VIF values that are not above 10 (Pallant, 2010).
Table 14. Coefficientsa
Based on table above analysis the mathematical regression equation of the model is summarized as follows:
Definition key terms, y= Entrepreneurial Success
Start-up capital
Personal attitude
Entrepreneurial skill
By looking at the Sig.-value in Table above it is possible to interpret whether the particular independent variable has a significant relationship with the dependent variable. The relationship is significant if the Sig.-value is not larger than 0.05 (Pallant, 2010). The results show that there is a significant relationship for start-up capital (0.236), personal attitude (0.101) and entrepreneurial skill (0.178). This means that these variables are good predictors of the dependent variable entrepreneur’s success. The independent socio-cultural issues is not significantly related to the variable entrepreneurial success and thus is not good predictor since its sig. value is greater than 0.05. As a result it is not used in the formulation of the regression equation.
Furthermore, the study aims to identify which of the variables contributed the most to prediction of the dependent variable. This information can be investigated via Standardized coefficient (Beta in Table). The standardized coefficients mean that “values for each of the different variables have been converted to the same scale so they can be compared” (Pallant, 2010, p.161). In this study the highest Beta value is 0.246 for start-up capital, the second is 0.178 for entrepreneurial skill and the last is 0.101 for personal attitude. Except socio-cultural issues all independent variables are statistically significant since the Sig. value is less than 0.05 (Pallant, 2010).

5. Conclusions and Recommendations

Based on the analysis made the following major problems are concluded regarding the challenges of disabled entrepreneurs that will hinder to establish and expand their own businesses:
Ø There are some problems regarding the startup capital like lack of adequate investment capital, lack of access to capital from financial institution, high interest rate to borrow money, banks demand unreasonable collateral to lend money and no subsidies from the government which are a great challenges for an entrepreneurs to run businesses.
Ø Most disabled peoples have no good attitude on their entrepreneurial ability, which means they don't believe in hard working, they lack moral compass to participate in business nearby non-disabled peoples, they adopt wrong orientation and attitude to work, they have a bad attitude on their innovativeness and creativity and have a negative perception on their successfulness if they engaged in business.
Ø The disabled peoples also face challenges from the society and cultures; they believed that disability is given from god to punish them because of the sin they done. As a result mostly they are corrupted and stigmatized, the products and services of disabled peoples not demanded, not secured and they faced unhealthy competition in the market due to economic inequality and unacceptability among society.
Ø Most disabled peoples lack entrepreneurial skills like lack of skill and knowledge to perform job, no access to training program on entrepreneurship, lack of business research, no skill to prepare a proper business plan and no well-structured entrepreneurial system. This may resulted due to inaccessibility of education for the disabled peoples in the country.
Ø The correlation analysis was done to see the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variable entrepreneurial success. Accordingly, variables like start-up capital (0.799), personal attitude (0.622), socio-cultural issues (0.139) and entrepreneurial skill (0.808) have a strong positive correlation with the entrepreneurial success except socio-cultural issues which has a weak positive relation.
Ø Regression analysis was also done to see the impact of those independent variables have on entrepreneurial success. Accordingly, the result indicates that variables like start-up capital (0.236), personal attitude (0.101) and entrepreneurial skill (0.178) has a significant impact on entrepreneurial success. But, a socio-cultural issue has no significant impact.
Ø In general these all challenges are the major problems of disabled peoples of Ethiopian and some developing countries to start own business since different studies and reports verified. In Ethiopian cases research conducted at country level shows personal attitude, lack of capital resources and lack of entrepreneurial education (inclusive education) to developed their skills are the major barriers of disabled peoples (Mitiku, Yitayal & Semahegn, 2014, Muleta and Mohammed, 2019, Birhanu, 2015). WHO (2011) also indicate as disabled peoples in Ethiopia and different developing countries are economically disadvantaged due the challenges they may face to be employed. In the report lack in inclusive in education system, lack skill to start a business, lack in business resources and social discrimination and stigma are mentioned as the challenges of disabled peoples.
For the problems identified in the conclusion on the success of entrepreneurs with disabilities to start their business and expand it, the following suggestions are given by the researcher for the concerned bodies.
Ø The government should provide subsidies or facilitate credit facilities by integrating with different organizations to help the entrepreneurs with disabilities to get start-up capital. And the financial institutions should also give a special attention to help and lend loan with a minimum possible interest rate without asking unreasonable collateral.
Ø Special need education should be expanded to educate the disabled peoples to change their mind, to develop their skill of working, to aware entrepreneurial and managerial skill and improve their way of life. Different training on life skill, entrepreneurship, management and financing skill should be given.
Ø The entrepreneurs with disabilities should also change their attitude; they have to believe as they can do everything like the non-disabled entrepreneurs. Disability doesn't mean inability. So, if they work hardly and become successful in business, the attitude of the society also changed regarding disabilities and starts to support and want to create a smooth relation with disabled peoples.
In general most entrepreneurs with disabilities are significantly challenged by factors like lack of start-up capital, personal attitude and entrepreneurial skills. Therefore, the government, financial institutions, the Ethiopian disabled peoples union, World health organization, labor unions, worlds disabled peoples unions, the entrepreneurs themselves and other concerned institutions and peoples should eager to help and simplify these challenges for the success of entrepreneurs.


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