Workers with Disabilities: Talent for a Winning Team - July 2008
Ren M. - Fly Fishing Equipment Entrepreneur
Ren M. wanted to start his own small business pursuing his passion and talent for making handmade bamboo fly rods. With the input of the ODEP funded Self-Employment Technical Assistance, Resources & Training (START-UP), he conducted a feasibility study and drafted a business plan. He needed the most assistance with financial planning. The completed business plan was submitted to the Florida Vocational Rehabilitation agency. They were very open and willing to assist Ren with his business and funded start-up costs of $18,000. As a result, Monllor Rods, LLC opened for business on November 2, 2007 specializing in the production and sale of unique hand-crafted, split-cane bamboo fly rods and hand made fly reels.
Recently, START-UP/Florida worked with Ren to write a Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS). The PASS was approved for an 18-month period with over $19,500 set aside into an account using his SSDI income and projected countable earnings from his business profits. The money will be used to cover operating expenses for the first 18 months of his business.
In January 2008, Ren spoke to an audience of 100 participants at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Employment Symposium in Lakeland, Florida. His presentation was inspiring and thought provoking as he challenged the audience to listen to an individual’s dreams and aspirations when self-employment is the desired outcome.
To achieve his dream, Ren M. tapped into the resources of START-UP/USA and START-UP/Florida. START-UP/USA provides technical assistance and disseminates resources nationally to individuals interested in pursuing self-employment; START-UP/Florida is a local model program of START-UP/USA.