Enterprising? Disabled? The status and potential for disabled people’s microenterprise in South Korea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External departments

  • University of Leeds


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-129
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article explores the position, potential and scope for self-employment and microenterprise for disabled South Koreans. The chronic barriers experienced in disabled people gaining paid work suggest that self-employment and enterprise might offer a good alternative to paid work. The self-determined nature of running a microenterprise has been shown to connect with disabled people who may not conform to standardised notions of body and brain that underpin many mainstream work contexts. Despite this promise, several barriers continue to beset disabled people’s access to micro-enterprise activity; barriers ranging from Confucian precepts, to employment protections that are geared largely towards paid employment and to the lack of training, finance and business support for disabled people starting up and sustaining microenterprise in Korea. The extension of legal protections, meaningful start-up subsidies, better business support and bridges between paid work and microenterprise are all seen as important policy correctives that would better support disabled people.