The SIE Blog

Tackling the ‘Disability Gap’ in Enterprise‏

Julie McElroy is a newly appointed SIE Intern at the University of the West of Scotland, (UWS) for the 2015-2016 academic session. Julie is currently a final year PhD student based within the School of Computing and Engineering. Julie was born both profoundly deaf and with Cerebral Palsy, which affects the messages sent between the brain and the muscles, which affects her movements and coordination. She spoke to us about her plans to tackle the disability gap in enterprise.


I am delighted to be paJulie McElroy UWSrtnering up with the Scottish Government to help assist with improving the ‘disability gap’ in enterprise. I have witnessed how disability was no bar to achievements. It is the personal qualities of motivation, drive and passion that has enabled me to fulfill and help make a difference

Following my internship with the Scottish Government, I soon saw a gap that needed to be addressed. Disabled entrepreneurship need to be better understand the context systematically and progressively for both academic perspective and practical consideration.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all of Scotland’s people are able to participate in our nation’s entrepreneurial renaissance and reap the benefits from involvement in economic activity.  In Scotland CAN DO this vision was set-out; together, across the public, private and third sectors, we articulated a collective-impact approach through which we would unleash the economic potential of our nation.

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Now is the time to set clearly that physical impediment should not be in any form an inhibitor to being a part of the journey towards becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.  This outline marks the start of an exploration to ensure that Scotland CAN DO applies to people with disabilities in Scotland.

The next step is to engage with the third sector partners to understand how the Scottish Government can help the third sector to maximise awareness of entrepreneurial services that Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has to offer.

With the engagement of the Third Sector, it will empower champions to raise enterprise aspiration amongst people with disability through role-models who are publicly profiled and are channelled in an accessible way.

To find out more about Julie’s role with SIE at UWS, read the latest press release here.

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