To celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day (#MomAndPopBusinessOwnersDay) on March 29, 2022, then-Bridges Helpdesk Coordinator Hindley Williams interviewed several blind entrepreneurs. Please find links to the videos and transcripts of the videos below.
Want to Be Your Own Boss?
We hear about job applications so often, but what about starting up our own business? Entrepreneurship provides a wealth of opportunity, but challenges and obstacles still exist. As with many other endeavors., blind/low vision entrepreneurs must navigate misconceptions and low expectations among the general public – including customers, bankers (for loans), etc.
Please find below Bridges interviews with some fabulous blind small business owners. One dove right in as a young man and has operated several businesses, including restaurants, bars, and even a motorcycle shop. Another started her business slowly, while still working a full-time job and caring for her family. Another was a successful businessman who became blind recently; he got training, persevered, and is now growing his very successful catering business.
Earl Smith has owned Smith’s Catering for 20 years. When he lost his vision in 2015, he did not give up his business; he took another road. With blindness training and his strong work ethic, Earl feeds our military troops at Fort Meade and provides jobs for our community.
- Watch Earl Smith’s interview with Hindley Williams
- Transcript of Interview with blind entrepreneur and business owner Earl Smith
Eileen Rivera Ley and Mike Bullis
Eileen Rivera Ley owns a successful consulting business, and Mike Bullis has started and run multiple businesses throughout his life. These two blind entrepreneurs guide us through their trials and tribulations and provide a fabulous roadmap for any aspiring small business owner.
- Watch Eileen Rivera Ley and Mike Bullis’ interview with Hindley Williams
- Transcript of Interview with blind entrepreneurs and business owners Eileen Rivera Ley andMike Bullis
Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@imagemd.org
- Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546
- Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.
Updated as of September 30, 2023.