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Now Streaming: “Born For Business” Shines the Spotlight on Disabled Entrepreneurs

Starts streaming for free today on Peacock and CRAVE

images of 4 disabled entrepreneurs and logo for Born For BusinessLos Angeles, August 23 – A powerful docuseries that spotlights the untold stories of four entrepreneurs with disabilities, Born For Business gives viewers an insider’s look at what it takes to launch and run a thriving small business. Just as each entrepreneur is on the brink of success, they must navigate the complications that the COVID-19 pandemic presents.

The series features four talented entrepreneurs with disabilities:

  • Qiana Allen is a fashionista with lupus who creates clothing for women with curves.
  • Collette Divitto is a baker with Down syndrome who owns a cookie brand on a mission to create change.
  • Chris Triebes is a driven single dad with spinal muscular atrophy (type III) making waves in the music industry.
  • Lexi Zanghi is a millennial entrepreneur with anxiety who runs a fashion-forward brand.

“For too long, people with disabilities have been shut out of the workplace,” said Jonathan Murray, Bunim/Murray Productions. “With Born For Business, we are showing how people with disabilities have long been using entrepreneurship to create an economic livelihood for themselves.”

Watch On Peacock

People with disabilities, who often face stigmas when looking for employment, are creating their own opportunities and success across the world. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with disabilities are self-employed at a rate nearly twice that of their nondisabled peers.

As of the 2019 American Community Survey, approximately 700,000 workers with disabilities in the United States were self-employed, enjoying the flexibility and opportunities that entrepreneurship provides.

Studies show that approximately 70 percent of people with disabilities want to work. Thousands couldbecome entrepreneurs if they can develop their skills and access capital. There are many free resources to help people with disabilities and others start their own businesses.

Free Resources for Starting a Business

Born For Business, which features talented and diverse entrepreneurs with disabilities, creates a paradigm shift for people with disabilities because it is authentic and shows what people with disabilities CAN achieve. At the same time, it does not sugar coat it. It shows stories of resilience and innovation that will have universal appeal as they are perfectly timed for a moment when people are struggling to get past the challenges of this time.

“We’re creating a world where entrepreneurship is accessible for everyone,” said Harley Finkelstein, President, Shopify. “We are elevating these untold stories of entrepreneurship to show the power of entrepreneurship to make dreams a reality.”

Chris Triebes of The Congregation Presents is a single father with spinal muscular atrophy (type III) who is making waves in the music industry with his concert production company, two venues, and music festival ticket service. He said he was interested in appearing on Born For Business due to the lack of representation of people with disabilities “who have a disproportionately low voice” in media, especially when it comes to portraying stories of proactive business owners making their own opportunities and succeeding. He laments the often-repeated tropes of pitied people with disabilities who are painted as helpless or unresourceful. “I want to help normalize disability,” he said in a conversation with the disability advocacy nonprofit RespectAbility. “I think I can be someone who’s good for that.” 

Born For Business is produced by Shopify Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions, the Emmy Award-winning creators of Born This Way. Tobi Lütke, Pam Silverstein, Gil Goldschein, Jonathan Murray, Julie Pizzi, Erica Ross, Jonathan Stern, and Laura Korkoian serve as executive producers and Jacob Lane and Millee Taggart-Ratcliffe serve as co-executive producers.

All 10 episodes of Born For Business are streaming on Peacock (USA) and CRAVE (Canada) starting today.

Visit shopify.com/born-for-business to learn more. Follow #bornforbusiness on social media for more.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the Vice President, Communications, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities, and managing editor of The RespectAbility Report, a publication at the intersection of disability and politics. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit. As an individual with an acquired invisible disability - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - she writes about the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible. Behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, Appelbaum engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, diverse and inclusive presentations of people with disabilities on TV and film so audiences can see people with disabilities as vital contributors in America and around the world. She and her team have consulted on projects with Amazon, Disney/ABC Television, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and The Walt Disney Studios, among others. Appelbaum also enriches the pool of disabled talent in Hollywood by nurturing and connecting them to those who can assist with their careers, both on the creative and business sides of the industry. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which was created to help entertainment professionals to be as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible, and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working behind the camera. To reach her, email LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

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