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Overcoming Adversity and Achieving Small Business Success

  • Published: 2014-04-10 (Revised/Updated 2017-07-31) : Author: Nebraska Self-Employment Services : Contact: carol@abilitiesfund.org - Ph. 402-296-2146 ext.103
  • Synopsis: ToriJo Spence finds small business success thanks to Nebraska Voc Rehab, Nebraska Self Employment Services and Easter Seals.

Quote: "There has definitely been sadness in my journey to overcome my disability, but there has been even more opportunities to learn and grow."

Main Document

Grand Opening of Baklava Bakery Offers Story of Inspiration.

As a person with a disability, ToriJo Spence's life could have been filled with limitations and hurdles.

Thanks to Nebraska Voc Rehab, Nebraska Self Employment Services and Easter Seals, Spence is on a pathway to small business success and will have an official ribbon cutting and open house on Tuesday, April 22nd at 4:00 p.m. for Bubbas Baklava located at 2722 North 48th St., Studio #3 in Lincoln, Nebraska to celebrate.

"A bad day is just a bad day," explained Spence.

"You need to come to terms with the fact that behind every beautiful day, there is always some kind of struggle. You may fall, or make mistakes, but when you live, you also learn. There has definitely been sadness in my journey to overcome my disability, but there has been even more opportunities to learn and grow. When you get out and put one foot in front of the other, even when it is scary, you get to discover the wonders that are waiting for you just around the bend."

Spence was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder with agoraphobic tendencies over a decade ago. Many with this disorder are so crippled by the disability, that they are afraid to leave their homes or be in environments where they fear escape is difficult. The limited space in airplanes and buses are often areas of fears.

"Self-employment allows entrepreneurs with disabilities the benefit of controlling their work environment, " states NSES Business Specialist Carol Blood.

Spence has this amazing talent and family recipes that she has tweaked to create gourmet baklava. This concept was a natural fit for a niche business start up.

NSES encourages profitability and sustainability by helping clients focus on planning with the goal of decreasing risk and increasing chances for success in business.

With a 73% success rate, it's clear the program has been effective across Nebraska.

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