The partnership with Start Up Loans and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) will help to create an environment where blind and partially sighted people participate equally, breaking down barriers to the business world for people with sight loss.
Only one in four people with sight loss of working age are in employment. There are currently 11,000 people with sight loss in the UK who are actively seeking work, and one of the initial aims of the new partnership is to empower and enable entrepreneurs with sight loss to take the first steps toward starting their own businesses.
As a first step, the RNIB will produce Braille and Large Print versions of the following existing Start Up Loans guides and documents, which will be available to request shortly from the Support and advice section of our website.
- A brief guide to Start Up Loans
- The Essential guide to starting a business
- Frequently asked questions document
RNIB will also support the Bank in providing accessible journeys across all of its customer facing channels. This will involve changes to the Bank’s websites and a review of its Start Up Loans application process, as well as the provision of training to staff.
David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said: “We are delighted to be forming a close collaboration with British Business Bank to help and support blind and partially sighted people. Working with British Business Bank presents a great opportunity to focus on enabling blind and partially sighted people to realise their aspirations. It is critical that businesses empower people living with sight loss to realise their potential, and enable them to play an important part in contributing to the economy.”
Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “We want to ensure everyone, whatever their background, has equal opportunity to succeed and achieve on merit.
“The government’s British Business Bank is breaking down barriers for visually impaired people trying to start their own business, unlocking talent across the country as we build back fairer from the pandemic.”
Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Small Business Lending at the British Business Bank will be discussing how to ensure the funding landscape is accessible and inclusive in the Show Me the Money zone at virtual event StartUp 2022 at 12pm on 21 January.
We’ll have lots of support and advice coming soon.