Network members Debra Ruh, John Little, and Rob Crawford spoke in Chicago for the US Business Leadership Network conference last month. The luncheon plenary was delivered to an audience of nearly 400 corporate, business, and government officials at the premier US business- to- business conference dedicated to increasing the workforce development and employment participation of people with disabilities. While the three of us had met at last year's BLN conference, it was our chance to get to see Founding member Ed Larsen and spend time together was a treasure!
Rob talked about what made the launch possible, how the Network uses social media to develop the logo, communicate across 10 time zones, and our hopes to connect with others around the world who seek a place of community, interested in starting a business, and share best practices regarding adult issues of people with disability.
John told great stories beginning with his personal journey in becoming a successful entrepreneur with disability, continuing on with examples of other business owners who have made it, and our exciting recent contacts with Disabled Peoples Organizations pursuing alliances with GNED.
Debra Ruh discussed how ICT accessibility levels the playing field for PwD to compete for emerging international labor market opportunities in an increasingly global economy. She gave examples of the top 3 growth opportunities for entrepreneurial activities for people with disability which can be seen by clicking here.
Our take-aways from the conference are we are now known as a legitimate international voice for entrepreneurs with disabilities, US BLN CEO John Kemp agreed to become a GNED Global Ambassador, and a leading computer technology corporation approached us about an entrepreneurship fund for possible grant applications... not a bad stage debut!
We the people, who also have disabilities and an unquenchable desire for economic equality- finally have the business community really listening! What are we going to do about it now? How about putting together an international event?