Deaf Enterprise: FAQ

Why a special website with information for Deaf entrepreneurs (to be)?

Why a special website with information for Deaf entrepreneurs (to be)?

Why a special website with information for Deaf entrepreneurs (to be)?

"Deaf people can do everything that hearing people do - except hear." 

If this is true, then why this website with information, especially for Deaf people? 

Several reasons:

  • Because some Deaf people, and many hearing people, may need some extra evidence to believe the above statement is true.
  • Because many Deaf people use a sign language as their first, or preferred language. For them, reading and writing the national language is like reading and writing a difficult foreign language. If you want to learn something new, do you read a  book or website that is printed in your own language, or will you consult a website in, say, Finnish or German - a language that you may sort of be able to understand, but not really, and ever so slowly? It is the same for Deaf sign language users: they prefer new information in a language that they know well, that they don't have to think about: a sign language.
  • Because many Deaf people say that the main problem about being deaf is the lack of information. Our society is a hearing, talking society. There's so much 'incidental' knowledge that hearing people have access to, and that Deaf people may not know about. Because no-one has ever told them. People working in Deaf education know this - world knowledge, incidental knowledge that 'everyone' knows, may be new to Deaf learners. Not because they lack intelligence, not because they have a learning or memory problem. But because no one has ever told them. Or told them in a language that they understand. Deaf people know this, hearing educators have to learn this - often the hard way, by trial and error. An expensive way of learning, the expenses in this case being paid by their learners.
  • Because Deaf people are visual people, obviously, and because they learn best when information is presented in a visual way. Examples, stories have to be 're-told' in a Deaf way, instead of just translated into a sign language. Deaf people use visual thinking and memory strategies; they learn best if new material is presented in a way that matches these strategies. 
  • Because many Deaf learners prefer a Deaf teacher, a Deaf trainer, to a hearing teacher / trainer. Even if the hearing teacher / trainer can sign. Even if the hearing teacher / trainer is assisted by a very good sign language interpreter. Why? Because a teacher is a role model, too. Because communication is easy. Because so many things don't have to be explained, or defended, when the teacher is like you.  

So: to learn something new, to do some real thinking, real learning, to prepare for some real life-changing challenges: many Deaf sign language users will prefer information in their own language, presented by someone 'like us'.


This website can also help to explain and demonstrate all of the above to hearing teachers, trainers, mentors, educators, employees, employers who meet a Deaf sign language user in person: as their student, trainee, trainer, teacher, co-worker, or neighbour. 


Part-time entrepreneur?

Part-time entrepreneur?

Yes, of course you can be a part-time entrepreneur. 

Many full-time entrepreneurs started out, part-time. Maybe you have a job, or you are in school, or you take care of your family. Then being a part-time entrepreneur makes sense. Of course much depends on the business that you want to set up, but especially on-line businesses can be done anywhere, any-time.

If you start part-time, it may take longer, it may cost you all your free-time, but it can be the safer choice: you don't have to give up the financial security of your job (yet), you can finish your training or school, you don't have to upset your family.

This is one of the things that you have to discuss with others, look at from different perspectives, weigh the pros and cons of, and then: decide. Are you going to follow your head or your heart? 

I just want a job!

I just want a job!

You are right. The number of (Deaf) people who want to start their own business: small. The number of (Deaf) people who can really make a living as entrepreneurs: very small. The number of (Deaf) people who actually make millions or zillions with their own business: very, very small. Most of us are not Bill Gates or Richard Branson.

Want to see who the most famous entrepreneurs are in the world, or from your country? Follow this link. Successful Deaf entrepreneurs? Click on WHO? on our site.

But yes, most people are like you: they just want a job.  

You can still use this website, our check-lists, our videos. You can still participate in our workshops. Just change the goal from 'start your own business' to 'get the job that you want'. 

Basically, entrepreneurship is an active, goal-oriented, problem-solving way of thinking. Not: sit and wait. Not: hope and pray. Not: what's the use of trying, I'm just going to fail (again). Not: I'd rather party.

But: think, act, think again, learn from your mistakes, and repeat (think, act, ... etc).

Because the world, your life, your fortune: all make-able?


But because acting and interacting & moving forward is much more fun than doing nothing & standing still.

Because watching a game is fun, but being an active participant is much more satisfying!

Can the EU help?

Can the EU help?


The EU has many resources for entrepreneurs, entrepreneur training, job skills, and for the creative sector (including arts):

  • Websites with information - for mainstream users;
  • European networks;
  • EU funding.

Most of this information is in English, a lot of it is not very accessible to sign language users, or anyone. Much of it is not easy to find. But yes, some of it CAN be useful. There is EU funding for traineeships in other countries. There is EU funding for studying, or teaching, in another EU country. There is EU funding for cultural events. 

To find out more, check out the EU Resources on this website




A deaf person in my group!

A deaf person in my group!

I am a trainer and teach hearing people of all ages about entrepreneurship. I've never had a deaf person participate in any of my training sessions. What do I have to do differently, what do I have to take into account if a deaf person registers?

Ask the deaf person or deaf persons, what they want and expect. And: check the resources for hearing persons on this website. It will tell you the very, very basics of what you need to know.

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