Deaf Entrepreneurs

Emlyn Burton

What, Where? All Entrepreneurs
Spain
Food & Drink

Emlyn is deaf and British, but born and raised in Belgium. Together with his sister Kate they own Ziryab Shisha (=waterpipe) Loung and Tapas Bar in Barcelona. 

From the website:

"Is it true that those who work at Ziryab are deaf? 

Yes! Totally true. In fact it’s part of the charm of the place, as there’s unlikely to be any other shisha lounge in the world with this peculiarity! You can practise your sign language, or even perhaps ask the waiters to tell you how to say “thank you”, “it’s very good” or “I need more coal please!”, in sign language. Our waiters are Catalan local deaf persons, overall, however every now and then we have deaf people from all over the world who do internships with us, so between them usually they will be able to understand English if you want to write something down! As one of the owners of Ziryab is deaf, this is an important aspect for us, to ensure we give opportunities for deaf people to work in the sector of bars and restaurants, and also to provide a service in sign language for deaf people who visit from all over the world. This is also the reason we do not have telephones in our bar."

  • Jakob Gade (DK)

    "The best way to create more jobs for deaf people? More businesses run by deaf entrepreneurs!"

  • Ramon Woolfe (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "There are plenty of opportunities for Deaf people to set up their own business not just in the traditional areas of teaching sign language and interpreting services but also in all areas of the economy from retail, to service industries such as restaurants, leisure such as a gym.

    I really would like to see more Deaf entrepreneurs showing that they can do it.

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Go for it. Follow your dream. Keep persisting and ask lots of questions. Don’t give up. Seek advice from friends, family and look outside the box."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Most of all, be passionate! Know and love your subject well!"

  • Clark Denmark (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "The workshop was extremely worthwhile; especially when one considers there has been nothing of its type in the UK before."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Asking Feedback is important. Then I look back and ask different people about their experiences. What is going well? What can be done better? I often hear new things and I learn. That helps your company improve."

  • Clark Denmark (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    " Therefore, without Deaf role models being here it would be difficult for many Deaf participants to imagine and believe in what they could achieve."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Perseverance and guts! Develop resilience to deal with adversity as this will help you get stronger and believe in your business."

  • Participant Deaf Enterprise Workshop (IT)

    "It has been amazing, I am really satisfied because I have learned so much during these days and I think I have looked into myself and found very interesting insight which will be useful for my life. I believe this is the same as all other participants feel."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "I will only say: Go on! Use help from everybody, both from government and in your network. A lot of people are helpful by sharing information and so on."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Keep an open attitude; co-operate with other Deaf business people. Use 'we' instead of 'I'."

  • Participant Deaf Enterprise Workshop (IT)

    "The Deaf Enterprise workshop has been incredible: each one of us worked intensively on understanding the way to take to achieve our dreams; each one of us was able to express their doubts regarding talents and difficulties we might encounter.(..) Each one of us was able to contribute so as to find the key to unlock our personal journey and fulfil our dreams."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Keep fighting, don’t give up!"

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Talk to other business owners, ask them about their successes and their failures. Don't be scared to ask for help. You do not need to do it by yourself."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Your deafness does not define your business skills. You are thinking with your brain, not your ears."

  • Participant Deaf Enterprise workshop (IT)

    "It is now no longer matter of dreaming: we have discovered we have so many ideas it is a matter of putting them into practice! This workshop was an important opportunity, with many useful presentations and group discussions. I hope this same opportunity can be given to deaf individuals in other cities in Italy."

  • Ramon Woolfe (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "The level of quality engagement was so great that we often would not have enough time in the day to discuss all the points the participants wanted to discuss and would often spill over into our tea break or lunchtime to continue the discussions.

    All of which shows how great the need is by Sign language users to have this direct dialogue in their own language."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is okay and you learn most from this. Don't afraid to ask for help if something is wrong."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "I only will say: Go on! Use help from everybody, both from government and in your network. A lot of people are helpful with sharing informations and so on."

  • Clark Denmark (Trainer at UCLan workshop)

    "In the past Deaf people have had to travel many miles to find a course which is then predominantly hearing people and hearing led. This has made participation and involvement very problematic for Deaf people who have said comments such as: “I didn’t understand what the trainer was saying.” Also, “I found it difficult to mix with others in the group.”

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is okay and you learn most from this. Don't afraid to ask for help if it's something wrong."

  • Ramon Woolfe (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "By the end of the workshop they all displayed a renewed confidence to be able to go home and act upon their aim of setting up their business idea."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Try it, nothing to lose."

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