Community Funding Helps Hatch a Virtual Incubator

6 July 2021

Today, there are 2.1 million Australians of working age with a disability – Gary Allen, the co-founder of Enabled VIP, a virtual incubator, has a vision. Gary’s vision is that if he could help just 0.05% of those 2.1 million people with a disability to start a small business, 1000 lives could be transformed.

Another key motivator for Enabled VIP is that people with a disability constitute a big percentage of Aussies today living on or below the poverty line. This is a key consideration behind the Enabled VIP program because for Australians living with a disability, who have small business successes of just a few hundred dollars, this makes a big impact on not just their self-confidence but their mental and financial wellbeing.

Pine Rivers Community Finance Ltd are delighted to support Enabled VIP on this wonderful initiative that really has the potential to help so many people living with a disability.

So what is it? is a virtual incubator with the goal of mentoring and supporting Australians who live with a disability to start a small business, start a gigging micro-business or better engage with the community. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or want to start a small business or a passionate hobbyist who wants to pursue your passion, Enabled VIP can provide the resources to help you achieve your goals.

The platform came from a simple idea conceived by Col Chandler, which was then set out in partnership with Dr Gary Allen. Both men had been involved in successful businesses despite their disabilities. They had noted a serious flaw in the dominant approach to disability and work, especially for acquired or progressive conditions.

How does it work?

Australians who live with a disability can register to join Enabled.VIP. Once registered, the platform has been designed so people can access NDIS training resources and then access Enabled VIP business expertise, online resources, events, and the online community.

The information and training span things like the early-stage business set-up actions of establishing an ABN to creating invoices to business mentoring. Find more information– HERE. Or hear from proud Enabled VIP Member and patron, Dinesh Palipana OAM, HERE.

Enabled offers a novel and constructive alternative, and all you need is an NDIS plan, a computer/smartphone/tablet and internet access; plus one other important thing – an idea or a dream to turn your hobby into a small business – Enabled VIP can help guide you with everything else.

The Enabled.VIP platform provides you access to confidential and expert advice. It also provides access to an internal discussion board, a resource library, webinars and online events, a learning space, a digital marketplace and mentoring.

A disability shouldn’t be a reason not to pursue your passion, use your talents and participate. 

A reflection on disability in Australia

  • A disability diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean a person doesn’t have knowledge, skills and experience
  • Most community approaches to disability and work focus upon securing and maintaining regular employment. Such an approach misses the reality of conditions like Multiple Sclerosis
  • The unpredictability of many chronic conditions means sufferers don’t know day-to-day or even hour-to-hour if they will be able to work. This is incompatible with many part-time or casual engagements. This isn’t the fault of employers or people living with those disabilities but is a reality that needs flexibility in the solutions.
  • 45% of people with disabilities live on or near the poverty line, 2.5 times the rate of poverty experienced by the general population (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2011).

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