Universal Inclusion Call for Evidence to submit to The Work & Pensions Committee Enquiry - Disability Employment Gap

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In response to The Work and Pensions Committee enquiry launch ‘Disability Employment Gap’ Call for Evidence, we will be holding an evidence-gathering Zoom session on Thursday, 17th December at 10.30am GMT. 

This call for evidence has a very tight submission deadline of Friday 18th December 2020. We are opening up this session to non-members of the Inclusive Entrepreneurs Network and if you would like to collaborate on this session please get in touch.

If you are an organisation and would like to collaborate on this session please get in touch.

This is a particularly important enquiry not just for employed but also self-employed disabled people. This is in response too and continuing with our work around Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

Please book via Eventbrite to take part however if you are not able to attend you can email your response to be included in our submission or respond as an individual directly to The Work and Pensions Committee.

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UI Call for evidence edited



 The Committee would like to hear your views on the following questions. You don’t have to answer all of the questions. You can respond on behalf of an organisation, or as an individual. The deadline for submissions is Friday 18 December.

Progress so far and impact

  • What progress has been made, especially since 2015, on closing the disability employment gap? How has this progress been made?
  • What is the economic impact of low employment and high economic inactivity rates for disabled people? Are some disabled people (for example, young disabled people or people with different health conditions) more at risk of unemployment or economic activity than others?
  • What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on disabled peoples’ employment rates?

Providing support

  • Where should lead responsibility for improving disabled peoples’ employment rates sit (for example, DWP; Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Health and Social Care)?
  • What international evidence is there on “what works” in supporting disabled people into, and in work, and how applicable is this to the UK?
  • What is the right balance between in and out of work support, and is DWP getting the balance right? What more should the Department look to provide?
  • How can DWP better support employers to take on and retain disabled employees, and to help them progress in work?
  • How effective is the Disability Confident scheme?
  • What improvements should DWP make to the support it offers to unemployed disabled people via Jobcentre Plus?
  • The coronavirus pandemic continues to make it difficult to offer in-person support. What evidence is there of “best practice” in supporting disabled people remotely—either in or out of work?
  • How can DWP put this into practice in services such as Access to Work and the Work and Health Programme?

 Enforcement and next steps

  • Are “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people consistently applied? How might enforcement be improved?
  • What would you hope to see in the Government’s National Strategy for Disabled People?
  • How should DWP look to engage disabled people and the organisations that represent them in formulating the Strategy?


Jacqueline Winstanley, FRSA


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

Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/universal-inclusion/

Social Media: Twitter: @univinclusion Facebook: @aninclusiveworld

#AnInclusiveWorld #InclusiveEntrepreneurs #Entrepreneurship #Disability #Inclusion #SDGs #UN75 #CallForEvidence #DisabilityEmploymentGap

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Not All Disabilities Are Visible

Not All Disabilities Are Visible

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3rd December 2020.  I have been reflecting today, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities at how different this year has been. As previously I have been so fortunate to be celebrating this day at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York, speaking on all things invisible disabilities and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. This year's theme is also very close to my heart as I live with a condition that is not visible and fluctuates. Like many people in these circumstances my life revolves around the complexities of how I interact with the world around me as my symptoms play havoc with my body. Those who know me have shared the resultant highs, lows, tears and laughter that follows.

I have always worked in the field of reducing inequalities and have had opportunities to really make a difference, initially within Inclusive Play and Childcare having as an entrepreneur opened one of the first The Inclusive Childcare Schemes in the UK.

UI playschool

Latterly elements of my work via my business Universal Inclusion and the collaborations I have entered into, definitely benefit from my having a lived experience and in the words of Confuscius "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life". I am blessed as I am able to do this as I seek to increase equality of access to life’s opportunities.

I took some time to look back at the very first Inclusive Entrepreneurship Programme I developed in 2013.


Our events in St Georges Hall and Media City in pursuit of equity for those who wish to create enterprise.


How in the midst of the pandemic out of the depths of despair our Inclusive Entrepreneur Online Friday Briefings began, providing much needed support for disabled entrepreneurs #InclusiveEntrepreneursOnline as they navigate the impact of the Pandemic.


and the wonderful opportunity to create and provide the Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship,  supported by Savvitas.

Screenshot 2020 12 04 23 Not All Disabilities Are Visible LinkedIn1


The series of 10 Podcasts which will be released over the coming weeks provide a unique insight into Entrepreneurs who have protected characteristics particularly disabled entrepreneurs capturing in real time how they have and continue to navigate the Pandemic.

 Universal Inclusion on Twitter


Screenshot 2020 12 04 Podcasts

Jacqueline Winstanley, FRSA


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

Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/universal-inclusion/

Social Media: Twitter: @univinclusion Facebook: @aninclusiveworld

#AnInclusiveWorld #InclusiveEntrepreneurs #Entrepreneurship #Disability #Inclusion #SDGs #UN75 #IDPWD2020 #NotAllDisabilitiesAreVisiable

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Creative Future from ACC Live November 2020

Creative Futures and Diversity: College Industry Week takes on Global Entrepreneurship Week

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One of many events we hosted or attended this year during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020 was an exciting collaboration with Access Creative College.

Our contact Carol Ann Whitehead FRSA GGA, Diversity Director for ACC Live Industry Week and Global Entrepreneurship Week provided us with this summary.

CW image 3

With scheduling to rival the Radio Times Christmas TV Guide, our Industry Week rolled smoothly into Global Entrepreneurship Week and it’s an opportunity for the students to engage in the bigger picture.

Industry week focused on the four creative pathways of Music, Media, Games, Events with industry professionals contributing globally. For the first time in its 26 year history as Diversity Director I suggested the introduction of Entrepreneurship leading to knowledge sharing about the Inclusive Entrepreneur.

Jacqueline Winstanley joined me as a guest of my  ‘In conversation with...’  where I jokingly mention this is where I get to wear my Oprah slingbacks. An informative discussion which will form part of the students assignments.

Watch here: https://youtu.be/y__yF8g3kys

My other ‘In conversation with...’ session was with Lauren Kisilevesky, Vice President of Original Movies for the Disney Channel and Disney Plus.

A huge thank you to the entrepreneurs on my Enterprise Livestream Panel sharing their journey, the obstacles due to physical disabilities, imposter syndrome and mental health issues. They shared their nuggets of wisdom, determination to succeed and defined what an entrepreneur is.

Jacqueline was also part of the panel which took place a few days later. James Holt, singer / songwriter deaf musician at James Holt Music, Mark Esho multi award-winning disabled entrepreneur and Aaron Hornback, entrepreneurial Pastor, Event Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Personal Trainer. Founder of Horizon Health Network.

CW image 2

Watch the panel here: https://youtu.be/OIDS3dgPoa0

The future is going to be more entrepreneurial. More of us will work as self-employed, often in portfolio careers. The future economy will need creativity and innovation in terms of business ideas and start-ups. Enterprise also needs to become more diverse, encouraging those from under-represented groups to become entrepreneurial.

Z60MM (Zebra Sixty Minute Mentor) - Each of the panel have agreed in principle to give their time to the Access Creative College students to encourage the entrepreneurs of the future.

A fruitful two weeks I can’t thank our contributors enough.


November 2020


Written by

Carol Ann Whitehead FRSA GGA

Diversity Director for ACC Live Industry Week and Global Entrepreneurship Week

Managing Director, The Zebra Partnership

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Global Goodwill Ambassador

Creative Futures and Diversity: College Industry Week takes on Global Entrepreneurship Week



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Jacqueline Winstanley FRSA Keynote Speaker at WOSAM 2020

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WOSAM 2020 Certificate of Presentation Jacqueline Winstanley FRSAJacqueline Winstanley FRSA, CEO and Founder of Universal Inclusion and The Inclusive Entrepreneur Network, was a keynote speaker at the WOSAM 2020 Summit, held between 18th and 19th October 2020 where she showcased the resilience and innovation  shown by inclusive entrepreneurs in the UK, particularly disabled entrepreneurs, as they faced the challenges posed by COVID19.

During her presentation, Jacqueline referenced the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, of which Universal Inclusion is the Secretariat, and also included works by entrepreneurs within The Inclusive Entrepreneurs Network, which Jacqueline founded in 2013.

The World Summit on Startup, Entrepreneurship and MSME Development creates a world-class platform from which to present and discuss all the latest research and results of researchers and academicians related to Startups, Entrepreneurship, business and new ideas, all under one roof. During the two days, they shared their experiences, pros, and cons with the global community. This year, the focus was on how Startups, entrepreneurs and MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) can overcome the obstacles in this COVID 19 pandemic.

The World Summit WOSAM-2020 was organized by World Startup and Incubation Council (WSIC) and World Entrepreneurs Association (WEA) and powered by Eudoxia Research Centre.

Links: http://eudoxiaeducation.com/world-summit-wosam-2020/

Paper: https://www.universalinclusion.co.uk/images/Inclusive_entrepreneurship_-_A_critical_look_at_inclusion_of_persons_August_2020.pdf


WhatsApp Image 2020 10 19 at 14.40.19

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Participation in the BER-MEC 9th ICBED-2020, Virtual Conference August 2020

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Jacqueline Winstanley FRSA has presented a paper alongside JoAnn Rolle, Dean, Business School, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, USA; Jacqueline Kisato, Kenyatta University, Kenya and Patricia Rock, BlueSuite Solutions, Inc., USA during the CBER-MEC 9th ICBED-2020, Virtual Conference held during August 20-22, 2020.


The paper - Inclusive Entrepreneurship: A Critical look at Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities - studies the specific challenges in entrepreneurship faced by persons with disabilities.

Universal inclusion IEN May 274

Following is the abstract of the Paper. Should you be interested in finding out more about this study, please contact Jacqueline Winstanley directly on email.

While there have been many definitions of inclusion as it relates to the underserved and economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, few have focused specifically on persons with disabilities. There are many studies that have looked at increasing economic empowerment through entrepreneurship for women, minorities, youth, seniors, immigrants, and rural residents throughout literature. The gap however is that the lumping of all these categories has led to the overlooking of specific challenges faced by persons with disabilities. This oversight on economic inclusivity has been magnified especially during the Corona virus pandemic.

The paper reviews literature in search of evidence to document programs, projects, and policies used in both developed and developing countries to address the challenges of inclusive entrepreneurship for all. It explores several entrepreneurial studies on inclusivity of business ecosystems in UK, USA, Sub Saharan Africa, and India and highlights public-private partnerships and impact investment as it relates to challenges in increasing inclusivity in businesses.


It was evident that, while there are many government policies and programs to support entrepreneurship in the USA, UK, Sub Saharan Africa and India, limited empirical studies have been documented to evaluate the impact of these policies on entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities. Some of the challenges cited in literature included gender gap, cost of doing business and the likelihood to be funded to launch a business, as common dominant factors reported on the issue of inclusion.

Practical implications and Conclusions

The authors find that there is much more empirical research and analyses warranted in the study of entrepreneurship inclusion and empowerment of the underserved especially for persons with disabilities and continue reviewing literature and use quantitative and qualitative research such that additional programs, projects and policies may be developed to serve all inclusively.



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