WHAT IS THE NEIS PROGRAM?
If you’re interested in starting your own business, you may be eligible to participate in the NEIS program. NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) is a free small business training program and 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 business management skills. Your business plan will be discussed and reviewed to determine that it meets the program criteria and has the potential to become a commercially viable, full-time 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 30 years, the NEIS program has helped more than 250,000 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.
Since January 2017, a number of great changes, including a broadening of eligibility, have significantly expanded access to NEIS.
NEIS participants can be:
- Non-Centrelink clients who are either unemployed or under-employed
- People over 65 years of age in receipt of the age pension
- Not-for-profit (Social Enterprise) businesses
- A job seeker and not currently employed, or under-employed (working less than 16 hours a week), not in training and not studying.
You no longer need to be on welfare payments to take part in the NEIS program, but if you’re not currently on welfare payments you won’t be eligible to receive ongoing income support. All eligibility for financial payments will be confirmed during your application process.
If you participate in NEIS training and are currently receiving: Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance; you may be eligible for financial assistance whilst undergoing the NEIS program.
To participate in NEIS training you must:
- Have a business idea you are passionate about
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Not be prohibited by law from working in Australia
- Be available to participate in NEIS training
- Be available to work full-time in your NEIS business
- Have not received NEIS assistance in the past year
- Not be an un-discharged 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.