North Dakota State Policies & Resources
North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Policy Summary on Self-Employment:
North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) sees self-employment as an employment strategy equal to other employment strategies to achieve competitive integrated employment. DVR defines self-employment as the individual owning, managing and operating a business selling goods or services for a profit. It will be considered as an appropriate strategy when the individual clearly demonstrates they have the knowledge and skills necessary for the venture.
DVR uses the individual’s score on the Business Assessment Scale (BAS), the viability of the business plan, the financial resources of the individual for start-up as well as continuous operation of the business, information gathered from a comprehensive assessment, and the recommendation of the counselor to determine their support.
A comprehensive business plan is to be developed to allow potential funding sources to evaluate its’ feasibility. The counselor typically makes referrals to other agencies for assistance including, SCORE North Dakota Small Business Development Center, or the federal Small Business Administration.
DVR is not intended to be the sole source of funding for the venture. The individual is expected to have, or secure other financial resources. The counselor can provide guidance and assistance to help the individual in identifying such resources and/or referring the individual to additional agencies for assistance such as Job Service North Dakota and a Social Security Benefits Planner to find comparable
Financial support is available only for start-up costs which are defined as those necessary for the business to open, start production and generate revenues. Funding for supplies is limited to three months of raw materials. DVR can fund start-up costs up to 50% of the first $5,000.00 and 5% of the additional costs beyond $5,000.00. If any plan requests more than $10,000.00 of DVR funds it must be approved by the State office.
While supported self-employment is not specifically mentioned, it is noted that some individuals will need extended supports to be successful and the counselor will assist the individual to secure these necessary supports. It clearly states that DVR funding cannot be used following a successful employment outcome.