Solihull businessman joins fight against inequality faced by disabled entrepreneurs - The Solihull Observer

Solihull businessman joins fight against inequality faced by disabled entrepreneurs

Solihull Editorial 5th May, 2024   0

A SOLIHULL businessman has joined a Government-backed group to address and overcome the inequality faced by disabled entrepreneurs.

Shezad Nawab, the co-founder of coaching business ICE Ventures, has bolstered the Lilac Review ranks in a bid to provide key advice and insight into changes needed.

The Lilac Review – which launched in February – is a major independent review with an aim to level up opportunity for the nation’s Disabled founders, who account for an estimated 25 per cent of the nation’s 5.5million small businesses.

Shezad has been profoundly Deaf from birth and launched his business, ICE Ventures, in 2010, to empower and coach entrepreneurs to scale their businesses by confidently pitching to investors.

As a business founder and business coach, he hopes his understanding of the challenges Disabled entrepreneurs face and will bring valuable insight and experience to The Lilac Review.

Shezad said: “The Lilac Review is a major step in supporting deaf and disabled entrepreneurs with their businesses, from start-ups to scale-ups, and I am very pleased to be a part of its Steering Board.

“I look forward to sharing my expertise and vast experience to add realistic value to driving the changes needed in society.”

Running for an initial two-year period, The Lilac Review aims to identify and break down challenges faced by Disabled entrepreneurs.

Since its launch, it has hosted 18 focus groups with Disabled entrepreneurs to understand challenges and opportunities in-depth – including one run in exclusively British Sign Language.

This formed part of a broader consultation phase and call for evidence, and The Lilac Review is now getting ready to share interim research, with a final report and recommendations set for the end of 2025.

This will include a call-to-action for driving positive change across society – particularly around accessibility and inclusion in entrepreneurship.

Joining Shezad as a new appointment to The Lilac Review Steering Board is Hayley Kellard founder of greeting card company Dotty About Braille. Hayley started her business in 2023 after becoming frustrated by the lack of braille greeting card options available for blind and partially sighted people.


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