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Are you interested in starting your own business?

Workforce Australia – Self-Employment Assistance, delivered by ETC, is a new service that replaces the New Business Assistance with NEIS program.

Self-Employment Assistance is catered to support aspiring small business owners to create a thriving and successful business.

Self-Employment Assistance offers approved participants:

  • Exploring Self-Employment Workshops – A one-week workshop designed at assisting you to understand what’s involved in starting a business.
  • Business Plan Development – Tailored, expert, one-on-one advice to help you develop a business plan and decide if self employment is right for you.
  • Small Business Training – Accredited qualifications in Business
  • Small Business Coaching
  • Business Advice Sessions
  • Business Health Checks
  • Income Support for up to 39 weeks (Eligibility Criteria applies)
  • Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (Eligibility Criteria applies)

To participate in Self-Employment Assistance to start up your own business 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
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • not have participated in the Self-Employment Assistance or the Small Business Assistance with NEIS program in the previous year
  • meet any additional eligibility criteria specific to the service(s) which you have chosen.

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 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 provide
  • 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.

ETC will assess your business idea to ensure it meets the eligibility requirements.

What are the benefits of Self-Employment Assistance with ETC?

ETC has been helping people start their own business for more than 30 years and our passionate staff enjoy supporting entrepreneurs in their journey to self-employment. Our focus is to support and develop your vision, turning it into a viable and thriving small business.

The service you can expect to receive from ETC:

  • Support and guidance from Business Trainers/Advisors who have both formal qualifications and experience in running successful businesses.
  • Our Trainers/Advisors have local knowledge, empathy and understanding of the ups and downs associated with starting your own business.
  • We care about your success and will support you through each step of the program
  • We offer small group settings with flexible delivery models available

ETC currently provides Self-Employment Assistance along the East Coast of Australia from the NSW Hunter region all the way up to Bundaberg Queensland, as well as inland New South Wales around the New England North West region. You can find a list of our addresses and contact information on our Locations Page.

If you live outside of these locations, then you will need to contact another provider for this program. You can find a list of providers on the find a provider page.

Small Business Success Stories

  • Florist follows her dream to launch a boutique floristry business
    ETC’s New Business Assistance with NEIS Program gives creative florist the tools to start her own successful small business With a lifelong passion for creativity, Kim began working as a florist when she was only 16 years old. “I’m someone who needs to do a job where I can be creative, I couldn’t do one … Read more
  • NEIS Program helps architect follow his passion to start creative business
    NEIS Program participant learns the fundamental skills of small business After graduating from university with a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Mark had no idea how unready he was to tackle the challenges of starting his own small business. “I felt that there was a cone of silence around the business insights needed to run a … Read more
  • Business Startup Story – Just Enough Beach
    We met with Lisa Wright the Owner of Just Enough Beach who shares her business startup story and tips to help other small businesses. You can watch our interview with Lisa or read the breakdown below. Tell us about your business “We create candles and diffusers that smell as beautiful as they look. Our natural … Read more
  • How NEIS Program helps beauty therapist open a dream Beauty Salon
    Job seeker learns how to overcome her anxiety and start a flourishing small business After being bullied throughout school, 22-year-old Breanna wanted to pursue a career that would help other people to feel good about themselves – which led to the start of her own successful business in beauty therapy. Breanna enrolled into a hair … Read more
  • NEIS Program helps timber enthusiast to turn hobby into his dream job
    Coffs Coast local Ken Cowden took a leap of faith by starting his own business so he could pursue his passion for timber. After a nine-year stint working for a University, Mr Cowden found himself with the classic Monday-morning-itis and knew it was time for a change. “I got to a point where I thought, … Read more
  • NEIS Program teaches artist how to start a ceramics business
    Ceramic Artist follows her passion and helps to save the environment Sally Flannery has followed her passion by starting her own small business as a Ceramic Artist and has already received an overwhelming response since its establishment. Sally’s self-named business is proving popular due to its unique and environmentally friendly products including keep cups, essential … Read more

Client Testimonials

  • Breanna

    Owner / Beauty Therapist, Beauty by Breanna

    “The Program gave me an insight of what it’s actually really like to be your own boss. It’s completely different to what you think it is… And it is possible! If I can do it, anyone can!”

    Learn more about Breanna’s story – NEIS program helps beauty therapist open a dream beauty salon

  • Monique Muusers

    Owner, Frankie's Travel

    “I have learnt invaluable business basics with my Certificate III in Business through NEIS, developed my business plan and met lovely NEIS participants that I studied with – the fact we were all in this together was fantastic! Thanks so much to ETC and the NEIS Program for helping Frankie’s Travel to become a reality.”

    Learn more about Monique’s story – Local woman thrilled to start her own business showcasing the region

  • Ken Cowden

    Owner, Korora Specialist Timbers

    “It’s quite a jolt starting a small business, without both the Exploring Being My Own Boss and New Business Assistance with NEIS programs it would be so much more difficult. I’m very glad I participated, as I learned so much. There’s so much to get your head around at the start. It seems almost impossible to start up without all this help. I’ve found ETC and my trainer/mentor Kim Hastings to be very professional with heaps of knowledge and experience,”

    Learn more about Ken’s story – NEIS program helps timber enthusiast to turn hobby into his dream job

  • Sally Flannery

    Owner / Artist, Sally Flannery

    “I knew some basic things, but when you actually sit down and develop the plans for your own business it’s a totally different thing. To have someone there to ask all those basic questions and go through some different scenarios was really encouraging. ETC has been so lovely and supportive.”

    Learn more about Sally’s story – NEIS program helps artist to follow her passion and help save the environment



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