Self-Employment for Bo
Indiana Customized Employment Project Program: Indianapolis Customized Employment Grant
Bo's interest in owning and operating a vending machine business evolved through his experience with vending machines through the Indiana School for the Blind and his desire to pursue a joint business venture with his father Now, Bo is self-employed as a vending machine owner. To establish this business, Bo’s family and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Indianapolis Private Industry Council Inc.’s Customized Employment Project, and transition services at North Central High School collaborated to provide the services he needed to achieve his goals.
A coordinated effort of services and funding led to Bo's success. Vocational Rehabilitation participated in brainstorming, planning and business development. They also paid for business start-up costs. Transition services assisted Bo with the Person-Centered Planning process, which identified Bo's interests and barriers to employment. Bo's family was involved in all facets of the planning and development, assisting in locating alternate housing options for Bo that would foster his independence and committing to provide transportation for his business.
The Customized Employment Project provided an employment consultant who coordinated the development of a business plan, using advice from the Small Business Administration. The next step was to undertake market research to determine the need for vending machines in Bo's community. The employment consultant identified eight buildings for vending machine placements and submitted proposals requesting permission to do so. Bo also received funding from the Customized Employment grant to purchase vending machines. The employment consultant assisted Bo with benefits planning and provided follow-along services for 90 days after the start of the business.
Bo is now self-employed and serving the vending machine needs for eight buildings. He is also continuing to look for additional locations for further expansion of his business.
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