Willing and Able
Helping entrepreneurs build businesses is the forte of traditional incubators. But Community Options Inc. has created an incubator to foster entrepreneurship for people with disabilities as well as those with businesses tailored to help the disabled. The nonprofit added the Community Options Incubation Network in 2001 to help these entrepreneurs with professional development and technology solutions, just to name a few services. The services are provided from its Princeton, New Jersey, locale, but virtual services are available to entrepreneurs nationwide. Says founder and CEO Robert P. Stack, 50, "If [the business idea] is something that can be done, we'll help them do it."
That help has allowed Brad Goldman of Morristown, New Jersey, to build his greeting card business, BRADesigns. Goldman, 33, who is quadriplegic, turned to the incubator network to help him with the business plan and marketing his card designs, which he creates with a special head pointer system and his PC. He sells his cards online, at events and expos, and via direct brochures. "The Community Options [program really] helps people with disabilities," says Goldman.