Closing the Disability Wealth Gap

People of various races, genders, and abilities smiling for the camera

Disability is a natural part of being human.

Almost everyone will experience a disability in their lifetimes, whether they are born with a disability or acquire one through aging, illness, or injury. People with disabilities include people of all races, genders, and backgrounds.

People with disabilities include people who are blind, deaf, with physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, or mental health disabilities like PTSD, anxiety, or depression.

Pie chart that is two-thirds full

Nearly two-thirds

of the world's working age people with disabilities are not employed.

People with Disabilities
currently represent:

50%

of those living in long-term poverty in the US.

<1%

of all microfinance recipients worldwide.

Leading to:

~$1.9tn

annual loss to Global GDP due to exclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.

 

Right now, for the first time in history, there is a confluence of rising societal expectations of people with disabilities, epic technological innovation, and significant capital earmarked for DEI and building an inclusive economy, that makes this moment the ideal time to pursue this profoundly underserved billion+ person market. 

 

Enable Ventures is confident that by supporting founders, companies, and solutions inclusive of the full range of human experience-- that is, leveraging disability as a disciplined approach to market-rate investment-- presents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for the global economy.

Across history, disability has
served as a
catalyst for landmark innovation

1808

Outline drawing of a typewriter

Typewriter

Pellegrino Turri

Invented typewriter for and with his blind friend who could not handwrite a letter.

1876

Outline drawing of an old telephone

Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell

Deaf mother, father teacher for the deaf, hard-of-hearing wife, leading to interest in sound and acoustics.

1932

Outline drawing of an audiobook

Audiobook

American Foundation for the Blind

Developed by the blind as a mechanism to improve literacy of blind people.

1954

Outline drawing of an electric toothbrush

Electric

Toothbrush

Broxodent

First electric toothbrush was invented for people with limited dexterity.

1957

Outline drawing of a brain

Brain-Machine

Interface

William House

Invented cochlear implant to help deaf persons hear.

1974

Outline drawing of text message chat bubbles

SMS Messaging

Matti Makkonen

Wanted to help a deaf man to order a pizza ahead of time.

1976

Outline drawing of a document being read out loud

Omni-Optical

Character

Recognition (OCR)

Ray Kurzweil

Invented the Kurzweil Reading machine, working with the National Federation of the Blind, to convert printed materials to synthetic speech for the blind; in doing so, he created a CCD flatbed scanner, omni-OCR, and a full text-to-speech synthesizer.

1983

Outline drawing of a globe

Internet

Vint Cerf

Hard-of-hearing; driven by need for clear communication, invented the first file-sharing network that was the backbone of the Internet.