Turning inspiration into a business

Self-Employment Assistance – A successful business startup in the digital world

This story was first published on Friday 1 September 2023. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@dewr.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Mari was so inspired by her and her child’s personal experience with allergies, that she developed an application to help others.

Mari had lived with allergies with severe symptoms for most of her life. Her children were also born with eczema and other allergies, and it took years to work out the causes. After numerous doctor visits, it was found that the allergies were being caused by the local flora. This prompted a move from America to Melbourne, Australia where their symptoms greatly improved.

Her daughter suggested that it would be great to have something that could track their lifestyle, medications and food factors to help identify allergies better. Inspired by her daughter’s suggestions and armed with experience as a software developer for more than 15 years, she started putting an idea of developing an app into motion, along with her husband as her business partner and co-founder. She created the InflaMed app to identify root causes and inflammation triggers so individuals can map out a personalised action plan. Mari built the app in her spare time and was able to publish it on the Apple App Store within an 11-month timeframe.

While Mari was able to build the app from scratch, she wasn’t sure how to market or build a business around it, so she reached out to Workforce Australia Self-Employment Assistance provider, Asuria, for guidance and support. She was offered flexible support services to further develop and nurture her existing business and was provided with small business coaching. Working with her business mentor, Pauline, Mari was also able to choose the level of support that met the needs of her small business.

“The training and coaching gave me a general knowledge of what I needed to be responsible for. It was great to learn different tips on networking via social media. Creating and expanding the network was a considerable challenge. But it was good to have a coach and mentor to talk things through,” Mari said.

Pauline guided Mari about networking skills to provide her with a solid foundation for her business. They met over bi-monthly meetings to track her business progress, and Pauline kept Mari regularly inspired to reach her goals.

“I haven’t had any experience like this before, building a business, but it was a great learning opportunity for personal and professional development, and it’s rare,” Mari said.

Mari is now undertaking the Google start-up program, open to investments, working on her app expansion and a clinical prototype.

Self-Employment Assistance helps eligible Australians turn their business idea or existing small business into a viable business. The support available includes:

  • Exploring Self-Employment Workshops
  • Business Plan Development
  • Accredited Small Business Training
  • Business Advice Sessions
  • Business Health Checks
  • Small Business Coaching

More information

Have a business idea but don’t know where to start? Looking to improve your business but need advice and guidance? Make sure you check out the following support provided by Workforce Australia Self-Employment Services:

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Correct at time of publication.