Disabled Entrepreneurs In London: Are They Getting A Fair Deal?


The societal and economic benefits of supporting innovative disabled entrepreneurs are under-recognised, nationally and in London. Diversity drives innovation and enterprise and innovation by disabled entrepreneurs continues to Winstanincrease pointing to huge untapped potential in the sector by way of innovation and health and wellbeing. This helps move to a fairer and more equal society.

Whilst London has a relatively low percentage of disabled people, it is also recognised as having systemic inequalities including for minorities (disability, ethnic and so on). In this presentation we will draw on a recent application for funding for a London-wide study of retrofitting London’s housing stock to answer the question, “are disabled entrepreneurs in London getting a fair deal?” In using that sector as an exemplar, Jacqueline Winstanley and Helen Lawton Smith will diagnose and recommend solutions to a lack of awareness of such possibilities and suggest interventions in order bring about real and sustainable change.


Helen Lawton Smith is Professor of Entrepreneurship, Business School, Birkbeck, University of London. She is the Director of the Centre for Innovation Management Research (bbk.ac.uk/cimr). Her research career has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, innovation, public policy and regional development in national and international contexts. Her research has been funded by the ERSC, the European Union, the OECD, the Regional Studies Association and most recently by Innovate UK. Her current research is on opportunities and barriers for disabled and ethnic minority entrepreneurs.

Jacqueline Winstanley FRSA, Founder and CEO of Universal Inclusion and the Inclusive Entrepreneur Network, now known as the Disabled Entrepreneur Network is best described as a global humanitarian and innovator with a deeply held and proven conviction to increasing equality of access to life’s opportunities through the creation of inclusive environments and working practice.  She is a recognised international expert and strategist on inclusion and disability challenges. A thought leader in the reduction of global inequalities, Jacqueline’s work is recognised as good practice in the UK and internationally. Over the years she has built an audit trail in proof of concept and outcomes, most notably in Inclusive Growth and Inclusive Entrepreneurship, workforce retention and had a significant influence on the design and implementation of public policy.

She with Helen Lawton Smith is co-author of The Road to Wonder – a study exploring the barriers and opportunities to creating enterprise and innovation by disabled people. This was funded by the Innovation Caucus and Innovate UK. She is a Visiting Fellow and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Innovation Management Research (CIMR) Birkbeck, University of London, and a Research Associate at Lancaster University.