Self-Employment Assistance

Access professional mentorship and accredited training to set up your own small business.

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Want to start or grow your own business?

Self-Employment Assistance by APM Employment Services helps people set up, develop and grow their own small business.

From 1 July 2022, Self-Employment Assistance replaced the NEIS program.

As part of Workforce Australia, Self-Employment Assistance provides more support to more people, more businesses in even more places across Australia.

Self-Employment Assistance can help you:

  • Workshop a business idea
  • Create a business plan and develop your business skills
  • Provide you with accredited training in small business*
  • Connect you with business coaching from experienced and local experts in a range of industries

Existing small business owners can also use Self-Employment Assistance to develop their business plan, access accredited training, undertake a business health check and access business advice sessions.

Small business coaching participants will have access to collaborative and personalised support from our Self-Employment mentors for 12 months.

All with the goal of giving you the best possible start in business.

Self-Employment Assistance is free and tailored with a range of training and coaching options to suit you.

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Who can join Self-Employment Assistance?

You can register for Self-Employment Assistance if you:

  • are at least 15 years of age and eligible to work in Australia to access Exploring Self-Employment Workshops and Training Options
  • are at least 18 years of age and eligible to work in Australia to access Small Business Coaching
  • are not prohibited by law from working in Australia
  • are not an overseas visitor on a working holiday visa or an overseas student studying in Australia
  • are available to participate in Self-Employment Assistance training and work full time in the proposed business
  • are not an undischarged bankrupt
  • have not participated in the Self-Employment Assistance or Small Business Assistance with NEIS in the previous year

Join a free online program information session

Attend a live information session to ask questions and learn:

  • How Self-Employment Assistance works
  • What you can expect from the program
  • What business ideas are eligible
  • How we help get you started

The information sessions run for 30 minutes via Teams. Book in to an information session via the button below.

APM - Setup business

Business eligibility criteria 

man leaning on a counter with his arms folded

If you have an existing business, you now have support available to you.

Self-Employment Assistance includes support for those who have an existing micro-business.

You could be eligible, if your business:

  • Is not currently operating on a commercial basis, or is a micro-business at risk of not operating on a commercial basis
  • Has an independent business structure
  • Is lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
  • Has been assessed as commercially viable by APM Employment Services
  • Will be established, located, and operated solely within Australia
  • Will be structured so that you maintain a controlling interest over the program business for the duration of your Self-Employment Assistance participant agreement

Success stories

See how George successfully started his own business Wash-Bloc.

Thousands of entrepreneurs and new business owners across Australia are supported by APM Employment Services every year.

APM - Success Story

Woman buying an icecream from the icecream truck

Are you receiving income support payments?

If you're currently registered with a Workforce AustraliaParentsNext or Disability Employment Services (DES) provider and in receipt of support payments you can continue to receive ongoing income support while participating in the program.

  • Participants currently on JobSeeker payment will receive the Self-Employment Allowance for up to 39 weeks (paid fortnightly) and may be eligible to receive Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks.
  • Participants on SSP or DSP payments can choose to continue to receive their current Pension or choose to receive the Self-Employment Allowance for up to 39 weeks (paid fortnightly) instead.

Are you a job seeker and not receiving income support payments?

Even if you’re not receiving income support payments, you can still access the same training and mentoring support to help you grow your own business.

Provided you’re not currently studying full time, you can receive free accredited training in small business and 12 months of business coaching and mentoring.

However, you won’t be eligible to receive ongoing income support through the Self-Employment Allowance.

Self-Employment Business Hub

Self-Employment Assistance training is delivered through our online portal.

Training is delivered via online or face to face settings through a Registered
Training Organisation*. All your training materials are available to you at all times
via the portal.

Participants have access to all program resources through the Business Hub, including:

  • Business resource articles
  • Course overviews and curriculums
  • Lecture and tutorial content
  • Participant discussion forums
two woman wearing aprons smiling

* Training and assessment is delivered by and under the scope of registration held by Innovative Training & Recruitment Pty Ltd t/a ITR (RTO code 40206). Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business - national course code BSB30220, Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business - national course code BSB40320, Micro Business Skill Set – national course code BSBSS00102, New Business Ventures Skill Set – national course code BSBSS00103, and Small Business Management Skill Set – national course code BSBSS00104