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Business Incubator Enables People with Disabilities to Embrace Entrepreneurship

By Xinhua|Apr 02,2024

This photo taken on Dec. 19, 2023 shows a coffee shop run by hearing-impaired people at a business incubation base in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chongqing - From sign language information products developed by hearing-impaired designers to sports rehabilitation launched by entrepreneurs with physical impairments -- the goods and services emerging from a business incubation base in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality are proving that disabilities do not limit people's ability to work, but help embrace the strengths.

Wang Lin, 37, has a physical impairment and opened a flower business at the incubation base in 2022.

"I came here to prove myself," said Wang, who had already made a name for herself as a florist before starting her business at the base. She is a national-level technical expert and an inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage of traditional flower arrangement, and she also works as a flower art teacher.

"I feel that my value has not been fully discovered, and I want to lead and help more disabled people," Wang said. This is also the reason why many other people at the base launched their businesses.

Established at the end of 2021, the base is guided by the Chongqing City Disabled Persons' Federation. It was constructed and is managed by the disabled persons' employment service and administration center of Chongqing. It has 41 enterprises to date, and many of its entrepreneurs and employees have disabilities.

The enterprises have expanded their business to more areas. Many of them have opened businesses such as coffee shops and car washes in other locations to provide more jobs for people with disabilities.

They are also developing businesses according to the needs of people with disabilities, such as providing matchmaking and labor rights protection services.

In recent years, Wang has opened three flower shops that undertake research and development, and sales and training, and she has hired several employees with disabilities. Last year, she opened another flower workshop, where all 17 employees have disabilities.

"Seeing that they are making great efforts, I feel I should work harder to help them build better lives," Wang said.

An employee of Wang Lin who opens a flower business makes flower products during livestreams at a business incubation base in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, Dec. 19, 2023. (Photo/Xinhua)

Zhang Chao, another disabled entrepreneur at the base, also started her business to help other people with disabilities.

After experiencing a sudden cerebral hemorrhage in 2012, Zhang, 31 at the time, became partially paralyzed and had to travel to Japan for rehabilitation training.

"The rehabilitation training brought me remarkable results, so I hope to bring those advanced, professional rehabilitation services back to China to benefit more disabled people," she said.

She noted that her initial intention in starting a business was to improve rehabilitation conditions for people who had similar experiences to her own.

"I experienced it, so I understand how important rehabilitation services are," she said.

Zhang established her business in 2017 and has since opened five rehabilitation centers across the country, providing sports rehabilitation services. The centers have already served more than 800 people with disabilities.

Guo Yi, 40, went for training at one of the centers in Chongqing on the recommendation of her doctor. After two months, Guo said that she can walk more steadily than before, and that she felt hope again.

The base also holds events and exhibitions to help its enterprises grow their businesses. To date, it has held 86 training activities, serving 373 disability-related enterprises and over 2,000 people with disabilities. It has also helped 419 people with disabilities find employment.

So far, the total output value of enterprises at the base has exceeded 104.16 million yuan (about 14.68 million U.S. dollars). 


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