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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Blind

Business Enterprises Program

What is the Business Enterprises Program?

This program provides participants who are legally blind with the opportunity to operate their own food service or vending facility. The Business Enterprises Program provides initial training for potential licensees and ongoing counseling and management services to established operators. The length of time required to complete the training depends on the individual's qualification prior to entering the program.

All operators retain the majority of the net proceeds from their facility and a small percentage goes back to the Division to assist with program operation and expenses.

Business Enterprises facilities are located in Federal and State Buildings, at rest areas, and welcome centers along interstate highways, and in some private locations. Nationally, the program is known as the Randolph-Sheppard Program.

Who is Eligible

Legally blind adults (18 or over) are eligible. You must be a U.S. citizen, have no felonies, and be physically able to perform the work. You will be evaluated for basic skills, math, and food service.

How to Apply

Listed below are the general steps required to become a Business Enterprises operator:

  • Successfully complete Business Enterprises training course as well as On-the-Job training with established operators in an actual facility
  • Become licensed by the Division of Services for the Blind
  • Apply for and successfully compete for a vacant facility
  • After the award of a vacant location, the operator will enter into a contractual agreement with the Division of Services for the Blind

Receive initial assistance in starting the business and ongoing support from Business Enterprises Representatives

Contact DSB

Please contact the DSB District Office nearest you for more information. Call 1 (866) 222-1546. For Spanish speaking callers, 1 (800) 662-7030. Ready NC Connect NC