Worldwide, the prevalence of disability is argued to be growing, with population ageing and increasing incidence of chronic health conditions (World Health Organisation/World Bank 2011). Approximately 16% of the adult population aged 18 and older worldwide is disabled, with noticeable differences between high countries (12 per cent) and low income countries (18 per cent) (World Health Organisation/World Bank 2011). Disability affects a wide range of socio-economic outcomes, including labour market participation, but also other factors that shape participation, including education, information and transport.
Disabled people experience lower labour market participation rates than the non-disabled. Disabled people tend to be concentrated in lower-skilled, lower-paid occupations. Low participation rates are costly for the individuals concerned in terms of economic and psychological well-being. One possible solution to problems of low participation rates lies in the potential for disabled people to become self-employed or to start and run their own businesses. Some argue that self-employment can be used as a potential rehabilitation vocational tool to achieve faster and better integration into the labour market of individuals who become disabled. Promoting entrepreneurship constitutes an important part of the kitaoneus.asia agenda and strategy which treats entrepreneurship as a key component of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.