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Business Enterprise Program - Training Independent Business Owners

Bosma Enterprises - 10/22/2018 1:47:10 PM

Zack Lee was born with an eye condition that left him legally blind. But he didn't let that stop him from becoming an entrepreneur.

Some people fold under pressure, while others embrace the challenge. Zack Lee believes in
facing life head-on.

Since birth, Zack has had to overcome adversity. He was born with optic nerve hypoplasia - an
eye condition which causes underdevelopment of the optic nerves. The condition left Zack 90
percent blind, with very little usable vision. “I use my remaining vision to the best of my
abilities,” said Zack.

Despite being declared legally blind, Zack attended Rushville Elementary School in Rushville,
Indiana. However, after his fifth-grade year, he transferred to the Indiana School for the Blind
and Visually Impaired (ISBVI).

The transfer proved to be the best thing for Zack. Once at ISBVI, Zack had teachers who best
knew how to work with a student with a visual impairment, and was able to learn more about
adaptive technology, Braille and also participated in extracurricular activities.

Once Zack graduated from ISBVI, he was unsure about his next steps in life but found
inspiration from some members of his beep ball team. These teammates just happened to be
vendors who were blind, who managed their own businesses in vending machines and food
service through the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprises Program (BEP). They were happy
to share their experiences with Zack. He was intrigued and wanted to know more. He always had
aspirations of being his own boss and becoming a vendor would give him that opportunity. “I did
not want to be another statistic,” Zack.

After his meeting with those vendors, Zack wanted to learn more about BEP offered at Bosma
Enterprises. The program is a 30-week program and provides entrepreneurial opportunities for
the legally blind clients of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). The program allows
entrepreneurs who are blind to manage a wide variety of food-service operations including
cafeterias, coffee shops, vending machine locations and highway area vending sites. Through
this program, individuals who are blind receive training and opportunities to become productive,
tax-paying citizens and independent business owners.

Zack is now four months into the BEP program and is loving every minute. He admits to
learning so much about managing a small business and looks forward to the challenges ahead.
Once he completes the program, Zack plans on bidding on a location for his snack shop so he
can become financially independent and start a family and buy his first home.

If you are interested in learning more about the Business Enterprise Program, visit
https://www.bosma.org/How-We-Help/Training-and-Employment-Programs/Business-
Enterprise-Program.