Self-Employment Assistance

Self-Employment Assistance can help you turn your business idea or existing small business into a viable business. The program allows you to choose the level of support that meets your needs and the needs of your small business.

Self-Employment Assistance replaced the New Business Assistance with NEIS program in July 2022.

Self-Employment Assistance in-language resources available.

Information for CALD communities

How Self-Employment Assistance can help

Self-Employment Assistance can help you with your business idea or existing business through its flexible services including:

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

You may also be eligible for financial support while you start and run your business as part of Small Business Coaching.

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To be eligible you must:

  • be at least 15 years of age (a person must be 18 years of age to access Small Business Coaching)
  • be:
    • an Australian citizen, or
    • the holder of a permanent visa, or a nominated Visa Holder (including a New Zealand Special Category Visa, Temporary Protection Visa Holder and a Safe Haven Visa Holder)
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • meet any additional eligibility criteria specific to the Service(s) which they have chosen, including any criteria in the Chapter for the relevant Service.

Some services available through Self-Employment Assistance will also have additional eligibility criteria. For example, to access Small Business Coaching you must have an eligible business idea or existing business. This means your business idea or existing business must:

  • be either a new business or a micro-business (up to 4 employees) at risk of not operating commercially
  • be assessed as viable by your Self-Employment Assistance provider
  • have an independent business structure
  • be lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
  • be established, located, and operated solely within Australia
  • be structured so you will maintain a controlling interest over the business through your time accessing the Services.
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How to participate

Self-Employment Assistance is delivered in 51 Regions across Australia by a network of Self-Employment Assistance providers.

To access Self-Employment services, contact your local Self-Employment Assistance provider to discuss your eligibility and options.

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Real people. Real stories.

To see how Self-Employment Assistance has helped people across Australia kick start and grow their business, visit the DEWR Newsroom or watch someone share their story.

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Connect with a Self-Employment Assistance provider in your area.

Find your local Self-Employment Assistance provider