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Project DOMO: predicaments of a woman entrepreneur with disability

Aparna Singh (FoA, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India)
Mitushi Singh (Department of Management, Jaypee Business School, Noida, India)

Publication date: 31 May 2022


Subject area

This case can facilitate students to develop a deeper understanding of the social mission-based business enterprises, startups, solopreneurship, one-man companies, women-led businesses, benefits and challenges associated with service innovation and design thinking, along with the competitive forces and funding problems in scaling up a social enterprise. It can be used for the BBA, MBA or Executive MBA programs for courses on entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, design thinking, business strategy and service innovation.

Applicability/study level

This case is suitable for both the undergraduate or graduate-level programs in the area of entrepreneurship, innovation and startup management.

Case overview

Dr Anita Sharma was a solopreneur who started a car driving school in Amritsar, Punjab, deploying specially designed, retrofitted cars to train People with Disabilities (PwDs). She demonstrated exceptional prowess in defying the social taboos and popular stigmas associated with PwDs by establishing “Drive On My Own” (DOMO) as an innovative project, a first-of-its-kind car-driving training school in India to provide an accessible car-drive learning experience to PwDs. She ignored the extreme sensitivity displayed in the social behavior of people around her, who were either were too sensitive for the PwDs by treating them as Person with Special Abilities (PwSAs) or were completely insensitive toward them or their problems thinking that their disabilities are their misfortunes. This continuum of insensitive to overprotective societal attitudes and lack of infrastructure concerning travel for PwSAs made this service innovation possible by design thinking. This entrepreneurial initiative enabled solo as well as group travel and tours possible for PwDs, by bringing in new inclusive modes of communication and solutions for self-mobility. It has also paved a path for social inclusiveness and livelihood sustainability by bringing positive change in the lives of PwDs and their family members. Moreover, a new design implementation is in her plans, as she wants to redesign these cars further to be accessible for people using wheelchairs too. The potential growth of this solopreneur’s social enterprise calls for scaling up the business, but it may also attract competition as the existing big tech-travel automobile companies may enter this domain soon with their driver-less or self-drive cars. Considering all these factors, Dr Anita Sharma faced multiple dilemmas: Can she formalize her project? What can be the type of business she can proceed with? How can she sustain and scale up her women-led project, better qualifying as a PwD-led social enterprise? How can she resolve the challenges related to the design implementation, funding the project and facing competition while scaling up DOMO as her social and service innovation?

Expected learning outcomes

Thus, this case study enables the application of concepts and theories of business enterprise, business funding, service innovation and design thinking. It also helps recognize and understand the challenges related to social entrepreneurship.

Subject code

CSS: 3 Entrepreneurship.



Singh, A. and Singh, M. (2022), "Project DOMO: predicaments of a woman entrepreneur with disability", .



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Aparna Singh and Mitushi Singh.

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