Risk of poverty and social exclusion


General PopulationPersons with disabilities


EU SILC [2018).


Among the general population of the EU Member States, only 1 out 4 people is unemployed. But when it comes to people with disabilities the case is different: 1 out of 2 persons with disabilities does not have a job.

5 countries participate in the Beyond Inclusion project. In all five, the unemployment rate of persons with disabilities remains quite high, and so does the risk of poverty and their social exclusion.

National legislations (employment quotas, non-discrimination laws on the ground of disabilities, incentives for employers and non-compliance measures) promote inclusion of persons with disabilities, but the quotas system in general addresses almost entirely companies with more than 50 employees.

What happens with SMEs, and particularly small and micro enterprises?

Small and micro-enterprises (<10 employees), represent 93% of the total SMEs number. Someone would say that this 93% is a tremendous source for employment opportunities!

The Beyond Inclusion Project also welcomes:
  • SME representative bodies
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Business associations
  • Disabled persons’ representative bodies
  • Business consulting and training organizations

Together we create a powerful team that sets the new standards of inclusion!

Who is implementing Beyond Inclusion:

5 EU countries, with high levels of unemployment for people with disabilities, join forces in order to bring in knowledge in the fields of social inclusion, professional development and business consulting.

Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Cyprus go beyond inclusion and assertively tackle the EU wide issue of unemployment of persons with disabilities. The cross-fertilization of knowledge and experience from an intriguing partnership mix consisting of 8 organizations and companies from both sides of the employability-disability area is reinstating inclusion.

 Together, they introduce an innovative way to address inclusion, within the scope of the employability-disability-workability-business development area. A whole new perspective that is targeting a fundamental change in the mindset of European SMEs.

For more information on the Beyond Inclusion team check the Partners section.

The project

The Beyond Inclusion project goes beyond mere inclusion of people with disabilities based on employment quotas and non-discrimination laws. It:

looks into equipping SMEs (especially micro and small enterprises) with a set of tools and practices that will help them acknowledge and reap the benefits of including people with disabilities in their workforce, beyond the ‘philanthropy – social responsibility – law abiding’ nexus.

Provides  e-learning material to persons with disabilities, based on which they will be able to better demonstrate, acquire/further develop job skills (including job seeking skills, self-marketing, job expectations, self-presentation skills), as well as transferable soft skills for professional development at the work-place.

Who is involved

  • SMEs, especially small and micro enterprises, as well as key actors in recruitment and hiring of personnel. Managers, directors, job recruiters are all welcome to go Beyond Inclusion
  • HR departments
  • Business consultants

  • Persons with disabilities: Deaf/Hard of Hearing persons, Blind/Visual impaired persons, Persons with physical/kinetic disabilities.