Inclusive Entrepreneurship:  “It’s about Business not Benefits”

Inclusive Entrepreneurship: “It’s about Business not Benefits”

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An Inclusive Entrepreneur TimeLine 20191Our An Inclusive World Event, held on November 14th at Social 7 within Media City in the UK during the Global Entrepreneurship Month 2019, concentrated on Inclusive Entrepreneurship and showcased our work in this area since 2009.

Universal Inclusion Founder and CEO Jacqueline Winstanley, host and executive producer of this international gathering, opened the event. She eloquently set the scene with an overview of the concept of Inclusive Entrepreneurship and its importance in achieving the 2030 Agenda, the Paradigm Shift and in evidencing the commitment to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Inclusive Entrepreneurship offers a real and sustainable alternative for people facing barriers to mainstream employment. It is essential in creating an environment that embodies the Paradigm Shift, where people who face barriers to the work environment are no longer seen as tax / care burdens, but as active, participating citizens contributing to the economy.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship is a global response to the changing face of the workplace, more so as economic growth continues to be from within the private, and particularly, the MSME sector.

Inclusive Entrepreneurs face challenges beyond traditional aspects of entrepreneurship, in particular access to practical in-work support, finance and innovation strands. This is where a lack of understanding of how people with protected characteristics navigate their working lives leads to conflict, as the genuine intent to improve matters conflicts with the administration of these same programs.

There is innovation being evidenced within Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and that is highlighting a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

It is also evidencing a reduction in the Health and Welfare budgets, alongside a positive impact on the economy, as the resultant Inclusive Economic Growth takes its place within the marketplace. Our Inclusive Entrepreneurs do not talk of pity - they talk instead about increased levels of self-esteem, reduced isolation and a renewed sense of being part of and contributing to society through innovation. 

During the day, we were honoured to have with us challengers and leaders in their fields, including the newly appointed UN Global Goodwill Ambassador Carol Ann Whitehead who addressed the delegates present.

Also joining us was Helene Martin Gee, Pink Shoe Founder and President who spoke about Women in Enterprise, highlighting the need for a structured and aspirational approach to Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

Olivia Gallagher, T33 Wheelchair Racer and Ability Today Ambassador then gave an insight to entrepreneurship as a para-athlete, demonstrating the gender disparity within her class and reinforcing the importance of appropriate practical and financial support as an elite athlete.  

Two panel discussions further illustrated the journeys and achievements of Inclusive Entrepreneurs. The first panel included Grant Logan from Ability Today, Ayesha Gavin from Ayesha Communications, Stephen Hopwood from Swift and Sure, Lady Sharon Farley-Mason from Glamsticks and James Holt, Musician. All highly talented and successful entrepreneurs, their inspiring journeys to where they are today only served to reinforce the immense benefits to the economy and their personal health and well being. This message was further amplified by Aaron Hornback of Horizon Health Network.

The second panel, with Carol Ann Whitehead, John Kiehl of Soundtrack Group and Emanuel 'Manny' Perlman of Destination Peace, discussed the conversations taking place at an international level, and their impact within the 2030 Agenda towards achieving the Paradigm Shift and the commitments towards the SDGs.   

It was evident from the panel discussions and ensuing Q&A that the growth we are seeing is both cross-sector and cross-industries, as the resilience and determination of the Inclusive Entrepreneur reaches new heights in areas they have previously been absent.

So I ask you - Imagine if the solution to some of the world’s greatest challenges is a thought in the mind of an Inclusive Entrepreneur?

We have a blueprint for Inclusive Entrepreneurship that works. We have evidence to demonstrate it.  However, in order to upscale and extend its reach, we make the following recommendations to policy makers:

  • Enable the Paradigm Shift in government policy
  • Allow for early identification and implementation of support
  • Provide direct access to personal advisors
  • Provide training on management of support
  • Ensure there is continued support for personal care
  • Ensure the award contains support for compliance areas
  • Allow easy access to mental health support and holistic therapies
  • Ensure equity within access to finance

An Inclusive Entrepreneur is another step in our journey towards making entrepreneurship open and easily accessible to all. Last week's event  resulted in an incredible, emotive and empowering testament to the importance of Inclusive Entrepreneurship in economic growth and social change.

We have launched a Digital Platform, an online marketplace for inclusive Entrepreneurship.

Our next step is an Expo that will be a physical platform and an enabling space for Inclusive Entrepreneurship on February 26, 2020.





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On the day of the Windsor Consultations, where I am speaking on all things Inclusive Entrepreneurship as part of my contributions across November 2019 in support of #GEW2019, I wanted to take a little while to reflect on work I have done in this area to date and the Launch of the Digital Platform for the Inclusive Entrepreneur.

We are about to celebrate 10 years since I started to consider the equality of access to and opportunity within the workplace. This was in no small part because of my own experience of acquiring a disability which impacted significantly on me in the workplace.

At the time I had been enticed out of entrepreneurship, #InclusivePlay, #InclusiveChildcare, to cascade the Model I had developed (Inclusive Playcare Model) initially across the borough where I lived, and subsequently across the UK. It was, it might be said, at the height of my career.

However as the Joseph Rowntree report later concluded, I was one of the statistics in terms of an employment tribunal, later which one might conclude ended well as I won on point of law but in reality no-one won. I found myself out of the workplace (workforce retention or more importantly the lack of it, is deserving of an article in its own right).

It was here, upon realising how difficult it was to get back into mainstream employment - reasonable adjustments really didn’t come into play in terms of pre-employment at that time, and interviews were brutal, as my symptoms and the assessment process collided - that I reverted to my earlier passion of entrepreneurship.

Like many things in life, once you step into the unknown, your learning curve is steep. In this case, I quickly became aware of the arena within which I would operate going forward and the fragility of the measures that were in place to manage my symptoms in the workplace.

I also realised just how many people were facing similar challenges in addition to coming to terms with a life-changing diagnosis.

By then I had formed FLUIDITY, which supports people with hidden and fluctuating conditions to access life’s opportunities.

One of the biggest factors for members was the negative experience they had, both within the workplace, and also when having lost their job, they tried to get back into mainstream employment. They faced a life on state benefit  - which contrary to the misconception, is the last place people who want to access the workplace want to be - and I could see the detrimental impact it had on our members' health and well-being as they tried to navigate alternatives. One of the most natural of these was for members to become self-employed, effectively cutting out the hurdles and taking back control.

In response to this, I forged ahead, utilising the skills I had developed in the cultural arena. I developed and piloted the ‘Inclusive Entrepreneur Program’ in 2013, courtesy of ESF funding and colleagues who believed in the integrity and intent of the process, particularly those who were brave enough to become participants.

The resultant learning informed the film below, alongside recommendations to government on how things could be improved going forward.

Unfortunately for Disabled Entrepreneurs, this also coincided with a restructuring of the Access to Work award (under less than justifiable circumstances which was, and still is, the only discretionary award aimed at supporting disabled people in the workplace.

The restructuring of the award, often referred to as the best-kept secret, was devastating and the fallout is still being felt and challenged to this day. The intent and the administration of the award continue to collide - most notably the Cap on the award which has no economic grounds, and the expectancy that a disabled entrepreneur has to prove business viability in 12 months or lose their support, contrary to sector data and learning on start-up phases etc.

When it works, it is life-changing. Its intent is pure and if it was to be placed within BEIS rather than DWP, we could see incredible growth in this area. The more punitive measures of the DWP would be replaced by a desire to nurture within a business environment that understands economics and would embrace the support requirements and ways in which disabled people manage their working lives as a positive contribution to GDP, not perceived as care/tax burdens.

Unfortunately, following the restructure, things did not improve. This led to over 30 complaints to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). There are continuing difficulties as a result of the conflicting guidelines and regime within the DWP. This situation is becoming increasingly akin to - and not saying it is the correct way to treat a disabled person that way - one that refers to disabled people as not working rather than supporting the resilience and desire to continue to be within the workplace. Instead, DWP are using punitive measures rather than the more innovative ones within BEIS.

Members find it at best difficult to navigate, and at worst feel thwarted and unable to grow their business. This is because of the Cap, the backroom administration, and the lack of understanding about entrepreneurship for disabled people.

There is much debate at the minute about the drivers behind people who face barriers to the workplace and move into entrepreneurship - often cited incorrectly in my opinion - that they are not doing real jobs or are not contributing GDP.

I see this as much more complex, as the realms of the Inclusive Entrepreneur ought to be viewed across the full spectrum of outcomes. These outcomes not only measure the business they run but the positive impact on the economy, on those they trade with and the social impact within society, alongside the positive impact on their health and wellbeing, and the equally resultant positive impact on health and social care budgets.

Supporting this sector growth evidences commitment to legislative duties, the Sustainable Development Goals, and what is sometimes dismissed as "what is morally right".

So our Call to Action across this month, which has also been adopted as the month celebrating female entrepreneurship by NatWest, remains clear as we celebrate the great things being achieved by our inclusive entrepreneurs, with the following recommendations essential to reducing the employment gap for those with protected characteristics through Inclusive Economic Growth.

  • Paradigm shift in governement policy
  • Early identification and implementation of support
  • Direct access to personal advisor
  • Training on management of support
  • Continued support for personal care
  • The award contains support for compliance areas
  • Easy access to mental health support and holistic therapies
  • Equity within access to finance
  • To place the Access To Work award within the BEIS

Jacqueline Winstanley, November 2019

Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Global Disruptor 

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Meet Aaron Hornback

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Founder, Director

Horizon Health Network


In 2016, Aaron launched Horizon Health Network (HHN) as a result of his own health, wellbeing and fitness journey with a desire to help, support and encourage people to discover, achieve and maintain a holistic, healthy, balanced life: body, soul (mind, emotions), and spirit, and then address three areas of health that impact an individual’s personal health: social, occupation and economic.

He is an ordained pastor and a qualified personal trainer who knows from experience the obstacles people face on the journey to good health and wellbeing. The HHN team offers seminars, life coaching, retreats, personal training and pastoral care. 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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YOU ARE INVITED:  An Inclusive World Event on Thursday 14th November 2019

YOU ARE INVITED: An Inclusive World Event on Thursday 14th November 2019

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An Inclusive World Event on Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Please join us for an afternoon of discussion on Inclusive Entrepreneurship at MediaCityUK in Manchester on Thursday 14th November 2019.

Inclusive means entrepreneurship is open and easily accessible to all. It levels the playing field and allows entrepreneurs to seek, create and participate in opportunities, especially those facing barriers to the workplace.

As an organisation, we have a commitment towards innovation within inclusive communities, and together we are creating the 2030 Agenda Paradigm Shift tasked of us in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - where communities start to see people who face barriers, not as burdens, but as contributing citizens who bring a new and exciting presence to the table. The resultant contribution to the growth of the economy from such enterprise is what we term Inclusive Economic Growth.

Over the last few years we have been working hard at bringing this task to fruition - through the Inclusive Entrepreneur Programme we run as an organisation, and the various Calls to Action, debates and events we have held.

This event is one in a series of events, and will be followed by an Expo and Concert early next year.

On November 14th, our focus is on hearing from Inclusive Entrepreneurs, launching our digital platform which showcases their business, and then debating in groups to build evidence. This evidence will feed into a White Paper and other policy changing documents that support our Call to Action in respect of business support requirements going forward.

Our speakers include:

Jacqueline Winstanley, Founder and CEO, Universal Inclusion

Helen Martin Gee - Founder and President, Pink Shoe Club

Olivia Gallagher, T33 Wheelchair Racer Weir Archer & Ability Today Ambassador

Grant Logan, Founder Ability Today

Steve Hopwood, Owner, Swift and Sure Secure Car Transport

Ayesha Gavin, Founder Ayesha Communications

James Holt, Musician

Aaron Hornback

We do hope you can join us.

We ask you to confirm whether you can attend and register for your ticket by Friday 2nd November 2019.

If you require support for any of our activities, please do let us know when booking your ticket.

The event will also be filmed. By registering and attending you give us permission to include you in our film and photos and use them on our website, collateral and other media.


Partners and SupportersAnInclusiveWorld November Event Partnership Logos Oct 28


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Meet Inclusive Entrepreneur Oliva Gallagher

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oliviaOlivia Gallagher,
T33 Wheelchair Racer Weir Archer & Ability Today Ambassador

"I was born at 24 weeks only weighing 1lb 11oz and the only surviving triplet which means I have cerebral palsy affecting all 4 limbs, profound hearing impairment and severe sight impairment.

After spending five and a half months in hospital I was allowed home, a world of challenges awaited from that moment onwards. I spent a year on oxygen and with lots of hospital appointments and check-ups. 

I went to the White Lodge Center from when I was a baby until the age of four. White Lodge supported not only myself but my family too. At White Lodge I attended the nursery and did physio and hydrotherapy to begin to develop my muscle tone strength.  The support I received from White Lodge was amazing. Without their support at the time we would have struggled to get the right support. White Lodge will always play a part in my journey. I didn’t take my first independent steps until I was seven, after attending Footsteps for three weeks of intense physio."

So what happened later on in life…?

"In 2014 I began wheelchair racing with the Weir Archer Academy after feeling inspired at the London 2012 Olympics.  In 2015 I was classified as a t33 wheelchair racer -  t33 is for athletes who have coordination and balance problems and all four limbs are affected.  I’m currently ranked No.1 in the UK and within the top four in the world rankings across 100m-800m.

I’m coached by Jenny Archer MBE and mentored by David Weir CBE.  They set up the academy after the 2012 Olympics to help inspire the next generation of disabled athletes to get involved in disability sport. The academy is not just about being the top athlete, it’s about athletes that just want to have the friendship through sport, with the confidence of being with other disabled people. 

Between 2014 to 2016 I couldn’t race in a straight line, and in the very first races, I went from lane 1 to lane 8! Now I can race straight!

This has been through improving my coordination and strength through the years and with the help of the coaches and athletes from the academy. Last year I raced at the CP World Games wearing the England Kit, where I brought home a Bronze in the 200m and a Silver in the 400m, just missing out on a medal achievement in the 100m. In December I was invited to the Pride of Sport Awards where I was awarded Young Sports Person of the Year 2018.  This made all the hurdles of challenges that I have overcome worthwhile. Sport has changed me as a person, not just physically but also mentally. 

This year has been life changing as I had bilateral cochlear implant surgery in January. Before this I couldn’t hear the sounds that I’m hearing now - such as the start gun  - and I was restricted to what I could hear on the phone.  Now, thanks to the cochlear implants, I can have a conversation on a mobile phone and can hear sounds that I never heard before or even knew made a sound!

I was introduced to Grant Logan of Ability Today while at a White Lodge VIP evening.  I was invited to volunteer and then was asked if I would be an Ambassador, which of course I was delighted to accept and be given the opportunity.

My race programme has been hectic this year and I have progressed in both UK and World rankings.  I was invited by British Athletics to race at the London Stadium in the Muller Anniversary Games on the 20th July in the T33/34 100m final.

One thing I have learnt this year is that no matter how long the journey takes it’s going to be worth it and that there’s always improvements to be made to enable the goals to become a reality “No mountain is ever too high”."

If you would like to stay in touch with Olivia, please follow on Twitter @olivia_t33 and Facebook olivia gallagher wheelchair racer.


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