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The Microenterprise project

Project Details

Funding partner

Flinders Establishment Grant




Hutchinson, C., Lay, K., Alexander, J., & Ratcliffe, J. (2020). People with intellectual disabilities as business owners: A systematic review of peer‐reviewed literature. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. doi:10.1111/jar.12836

Hutchinson, C., Lay, K., Alexander, J., & Ratcliffe, J. (2021). Perspectives on people with intellectual disabilities as business owners. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation


DCI researchers

Flinders University researchers

  • Dr Claire Hutchinson (lead)

Research partners

  • Community Living Project (CLP)


Microenterprise is emerging as an employment pathway for people with intellectual disabilities. This project identified the facilitators, barriers and outcomes from microenterprises owned by people with intellectual disabilities from several stakeholder perspectives. A key facilitator for successful microenterprise was the availability of, and continued access to, three pillars of formal support (microenterprise consultant, personal assistant, and an enterprise management group). Key barriers identified were funding limitations, role confusion between supports, and problems recruiting supports with business skills.


Outcomes for business owners included personal/emotional growth, skills development, autonomy, having a meaningful role, and contributing to their communities. Microenterprise can provide people with intellectual disabilities with an employment pathway highly tailored to their goals, capacities, and interests.


An easy-read resource for this project is not currently available.

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