WHAT IS THE NEIS PROGRAM?
If you’re interested in starting your own business, you may be eligible to participate in New Business Assistance with NEIS. The NEIS program has been assisting people to start their own businesses with free support for over 35 years, and is part of the Australian Government’s jobactive initiative. Training is delivered by a network of experienced providers across Australia, offering support to turn a good idea into a viable business. You can find your nearest NEIS provider by using our postcode search tool.
During NEIS Training you will develop a comprehensive business plan and learn small business management skills. Your business plan will be reviewed to ensure that it meets the program criteria and has the potential to become a commercially viable business.
The NEIS program provides:
- Free accredited small business training
- Free business mentoring and personalised support in the first year of the new business
- Income support (NEIS Allowance) for up to 39 weeks (if eligible)
- Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible)
Over the past 35 years, the NEIS program has helped more than 185,000 people start their own businesses. Read some of our inspirational business success stories here. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for new success story alerts, small business info and NEIS news.
There has been a broadening of eligibility in recent times, which means that you no longer need to be receiving welfare payments to access NEIS support.
NEIS eligibility now includes:
- People working or studying up to 25 hours per week, and those with significant caring responsibilities
- People over 65 years of age in receipt of the age pension
- Retrenched workers in the last three months of their employment
- Serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and eligible family members, with an identified transition date
- Existing micro-business owners impacted by COVID-19 who need help to keep their business running or to refocus their operations to meet new areas of demand.
Please note that if you are not receiving welfare payments you would not be eligible for NEIS Allowance (income support) or Rental Assistance. For those NEIS participants receiving an eligible Centrelink/Services Australia payment such as JobSeeker Allowance, Parenting Payment, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance you may be eligible for NEIS income support payments. Eligibility for NEIS income support payments will be confirmed during the application process.
To participate in NEIS training you must:
- Have a good business idea
- Be at least 18 years of age when commencing NEIS Assistance
- Not be prohibited by law from working in Australia
- Not be an overseas visitor on a working holiday visa or an overseas student studying in Australia
- Be available to participate in NEIS Training
- Be available to work the required hours in your NEIS business*
- Have not received NEIS assistance in the past year
- Not be an undischarged bankrupt.
There are 8600 NEIS places available nationally each year, delivered by a network of NEIS providers.
Contact your nearest NEIS provider for a chat, to discuss the suitability and eligibility of your business idea. You can find your nearest NEIS provider by using our postcode search tool.