Help Exploring Your Business Idea or Running Your Small Business

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.

How Self-Employment Assistance can help

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

  • 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.


To be eligible you must:

  • be at least 15 years of age (or at least 18 years of age to access Small Business Coaching)
  • be an Australian citizen, 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
  • not already be in education or employment (or both) for more than 25 hours per week
  • meet any additional eligibility criteria specific to the Self-Employment Assistance service you have chosen.

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.

More information about Self-Employment Assistance services

Connecting with the Self-Employment Assistance can give you access to a range of services. This includes workshops, courses and personalised business advice and mentoring.

Exploring Self-Employment Workshops

Exploring Self-Employment Workshops help you understand what self-employment is. Workshops are delivered over 1 to 2 weeks.

Exploring Self-Employment Workshops can help you:

  • understand what’s involved in starting a business
  • generate or validate a business idea
  • make an informed decision about whether self-employment is right for you.

Business Plan Development

A business plan helps new and existing micro-business owners focus on the steps necessary to make their business succeed.

Self-Employment Assistance can help you develop a business plan by providing you with one-on-one support and the tools you need to complete it. Your provider will also help you by assessing the viability of your business plan.

Accredited Small Business Training

Small Business Training provides you with the skills you need to start and run a small business. You can choose to participate in one of the following accredited qualifications:

  • Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB30220)
  • Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320)
  • Micro Business Skill Set (BSBSS00102)
  • New Business Ventures Skill Set (BSBSS00103)
  • Small Business Management Skill Set (BSBSS00104).

Your Self-Employment Assistance provider will help you pick the qualification that best helps you achieve your small business goals.

You don’t need to apply for a minimum number of jobs while you participate in Small Business Training.

Business Advice Sessions

Business Advice Sessions are one-hour, one-on-one sessions with a business advisor. They can give you advice on starting your own small business or running an existing one.

You can tailor these sessions to meet your needs. They can involve:

  • getting advice on starting your own business
  • improving your business’ commercial viability
  • advice on a range of other small business-related matters
  • referral to other small business support networks.

If you’re eligible, you can book up to 2 free sessions every 12 months.

Business Health Checks

A Business Health Check is a 3-hour, one-on-one session with a Self-Employment Assistance provider. They can help you assess how your business is currently running and find ways to improve it.

Your provider will help you:

  • analyse your business
  • identify opportunities for improvement
  • connect with other local business support services, where relevant.

If you’re eligible, you can access one Business Health Check every 12 months.

Small Business Coaching

Small Business Coaching gives you 12 months of personalised mentoring and support to help you start and run your small business.

If you’re eligible, you may be able to access:

  • up to $300 worth of small business start-up costs, such as business insurance
  • an allowance for up to 39 weeks and rental assistance for up to 26 weeks.


  • Connect with a Self-Employment Assistance provider in your area.
  • If you have questions, you can ask your employment service provider if you have one.
  • Call our National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.
  • Connect with us on Facebook.