SETWorks

Reality Show “Born For Business” Turns the Camera on Entrepreneurs With Disabilities

The 10-part series follows four entrepreneurs as they build unique businesses of their own.

Entrepreneurs Lexi Zanghi, Qiana Allen, Colette Divito and Chris Triebes are featured in “Born For Business”.

After graduating from college, Collette Divito was tired of being rejected by prospective employers because of her disability. So she decided to become her own boss and founded a cookie company named Collettey’s Cookies. 

 

“People with a disability like Down syndrome who cannot find jobs, it is so damn hard. I just have the same emails all the time saying, ‘It was nice to meet you, but at this time, you are not a good fit,’“ recalls Collette. “With my own company, I feel so happy. In the kitchen, I am the boss.” 

 

Collette is one of four entrepreneurs featured in “Born For Business”, a reality series that showcases all that goes into building a unique business while having a disability. 

 

The show also features Chris Triebes, a managing partner of several music venues and a music festival. Chris is a single dad who was born with spinal muscular atrophy type III and uses a wheelchair. Like Collette, Chris’ struggle to find inclusive employment opportunities is what drove him to become an entrepreneur.  

 

“I am an entrepreneur because I am a rebel,” says Chris. “I don’t enjoy working for other people really; I don’t feel a need to cooperate with a system that I don’t feel really totally accepts me and is working for me.” 

 

In the United States, around 70 percent of individuals with disabilities want to work — but only 30 percent are currently employed. Entrepreneurship provides one path for these individuals to discover meaningful work and competitive pay.  

 

Indeed, research shows that entrepreneurship is associated with greater financial independence for individuals with disabilities. That’s the case for Qiana Allen, a fashion entrepreneur on “Born For Business”. Qiana, who has lupus, has built one of the most successful plus size boutiques in the country.  

 

“I started selling clothes and jewelry out of my car, in salons and for boutique owners who didn’t carry plus size, and it went off as a hit,” says Qiana. “People loved it, it grew, made me a lot of money, and so I was able to open my first brick and mortar store because I had worked so hard building it from the ground up.” 

 

Over one million individuals with disabilities are currently self-employed — and that number is growing every day. In fact, workers with a disability are more likely to be self-employed than their non-disabled peers.  

 

“Born For Business” gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the ups and downs of being your own boss — during the COVID-19 pandemic, no less. 

 

“You need courage to be an entrepreneur. You have to have faith in yourself,” says Lexi Zanghi, who started an online clothing business after her anxiety forced her to drop out of fashion school. “Born For Business” follows Lexi as she opens her first brick and mortar retail store.  

 

Producer Jonathan Murray told RespectAbility he created the series to show “how people with disabilities have long been using entrepreneurship to create an economic livelihood for themselves.” 

 

All 10 episodes of “Born For Business” are currently available on Peacock (US) and Crave (Canada). To watch, visit https://www.peacocktv.com/ or https://www.crave.ca 

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