Groundbreaking Employment Academy Returns

A Croydon Council-funded course that helps disabled entrepreneurs launch their own businesses is calling for new recruits.

The Self-Supported Employment Academy (SSEA) is now in its second year of giving two months’ coaching on everything from finance and marketing to business planning to adults with a range of disabilities, from autism to physical, sensory and mental health needs.

Fifteen people graduated from the class of 2017-18 last December, including a florist, an inspirational speaker, a small animal hotelier and a wedding consultant.


The SSEA is calling for new recruits after last year’s successful course

Now tutors are calling for new people to apply for the 10-week £2,000 course, which will run from 20 November until 5 February 2019 at Croydon’s central library in Katharine Street and is aimed at people with disabilities who have no previous business experience.

The course is funded by Croydon Council and run by a partnership between the council’s Residents and Gateway service, Tree Shepherd; which advises entrepreneurs on their business development, and Status Employment; a supported employment service that helps disabled jobseekers.

Once the course finishes, the entrepreneurs will continue to receive mentoring advice over the coming year from Status Employment. The SSEA is different to similar courses that do not provide this kind of ongoing support after the sessions end.

Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said:

“The council is keen to give the right business skills and support into jobs for as many borough residents as possible, so this course is an important part of that approach.

“The Self-Supported Employment Academy has already boosted the know-how, confidence and financial independence of several local entrepreneurs, so if you have a disability and want to sharpen your business skills, I urge you to sign up to this valuable course.”

If you are interested in attending or want more information about eligibility, email:

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