Analysis of a survey among National Business and Disability Networks

Disability inclusion in small and medium-sized enterprises

While small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generate the majority of employment opportunities worldwide, their visibility in promoting the employment and inclusion of persons with disabilities has been low, compared to the efforts of multinational enterprises - including those global companies that are members of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN).

A survey by the ILO GBDN aimed to explore how SMEs could be better supported in their efforts to become inclusive of persons with disabilities was sent to the 36 National Business and Disability Networks (NBDNs) that were members of the ILO GBDN.

This report presents the survey results, analyses them and provides key recommendations on how to enable SMEs to further promote the employment of persons with disabilities, including:

● Strengthen or establish direct contact with SMEs and work hand-in-hand with relevant partners at country level, including Organisations of Persons with Disabilities and public authorities, to transfer knowledge and share experiences on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, particularly by attracting SMEs to NBDNs.

● Increase government data collection and usage, support and technical guidance to SMEs on promoting job opportunities for people with disabilities.

● Conduct awareness raising initiatives on the value and business case of hiring and employing people with disabilities, including through media campaigns.

● Incentivise the employment of persons with disabilities in medium-sized enterprises through specific requirements stipulated by buyers in global supply chains those medium-sized enterprises are already or want to become part of.

● Provide capacity building to SME-relevant employers’ associations to enable them to provide disability inclusion guidance to SMEs, including through supporting existing or launching new NBDNs.

● Encourage multinational enterprises to share their lessons learned on disability inclusion with SMEs.

● Disseminate information on already existing tools and guidance.