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"Don't let anything hold you back!"

Naperville, Illinois: Bill Malleris builds barrier-free housing for the disabled. When he couldn't find a place in Chicago to live himself, he built Maple Court, a 48-unit residential complex with 20 units designed for people who use wheelchairs or scooters to get around. The happy part of the story is that Bill was sold out before he even finished the construction. Meet an entrepreneur-activist and learn how to do good and make a living, too.

He says, "Don't let anything hold you back!" .

Bill Malleris is an activist turned businessman. Since college he has been preaching about the needs of people with disabilities. His sermon goes something like this: People with disabilities want to work. They don't want to be "taken care of" or felt sorry for. But people with disabilities do need the rest of us to be open to change and to find creative ways to bring them into the workplace.....

Bill's new sermon goes like this: "If you have an idea for a business, a disability shouldn't hold you back."

"Find a need and fill it."

"Get a mentor." And, he adds, "Get access to the free and low-cost services from the SBA."

And he concludes, "Start small and network with other small business owners."

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There are eight steps to start, run and grow a business.


Step 1Be willing to serve
Key Question: How do I build a strong company?
Meet Barbara Scully, Damariscotta River, Maine 

Step 2Knock on Doors
Key Question: How do I get my first sale?
Meet Ken Duncan in Sydney   More...


Step 3Start a business to fund a cause
Key Question: How do I make it through the hard times?
Visit Trailblazer Foods in Portland, Oregon   More..

Step 4:   Refine a trend
Key Question: How do I spot an opportunity?
Meet the owners of Wahoo's Fish Tacos   More..


Step 5: Control your supply chain
Key Question:   How do I keep growing?
Meet Bob Sakata of Brighton, Colorado   More..

Step 6: Market on the web
Key Question: How do I increase profits?
Meet the Hardy Boat people   More...


Step 7: Help Your Customers Succeed
Key Question: How do I keep customers coming back?
Meet the Omnex family of Dearborn, Michigan  More...

Step 8:  Eat Dinner with Your Customers
Key Question: How do I keep customers coming back?
Meet the Opici family of Glen Rock, NJ   More...

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