Access to the New Business Assistance with NEIS

What is New Business Assistance with NEIS?

The New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) is an Australian Government program to help people not in employment, education or training into self-employment.

The New Business Assistance with NEIS program has been operating for over 31 years and Bendigo TAFE has been a New Business Assistance with NEIS provider for more than 27 years. 

The New Business Assistance with NEIS program includes: 

  • Small Business Management training (you will develop a comprehensive business plan)
  • Mentor support for up to 12 months from experienced small business advisers
  • Income support for nine months (if eligible)
  • Rent assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible).

All small business training and mentor support is fully subsidised with no associated cost to the participant.

Your business idea must not be already operating on a commercial basis, it must have an independent business structure and meet legal requirements at all levels of government.

Who is Eligible?

  • You must be unemployed
  • Not in any full time education or training
  • Have a commercially viable business idea
  • Over 18 years of age.

How to Apply

Option 1: Download an Application Form and return it to us either by fax 9279 2590 or email You will then be contacted to attend an Information Session and have an interview.

Option 2: Attend an Information Session (as listed below) and submit an Application Form after an interview.

Return your application in person or mail to our postal address:

Administration Officer
Business Enterprise Centre
Kangan Institute
38 Buckley Street
Essendon VIC 3040

We take applications continuously and we will consider your application for the next course. We will contact successful applicants by phone or letter shortly before the start date of the next course.

New Business Assistance with NEIS Requirements

Your business must be new and not yet operating at a commercial level. This does not imply that your business idea needs to be unique but that it has to be a business which is being started up. The business can already be registered but cannot have already operated beyond a hobby level. No goodwill can be paid to purchase an ongoing business. In addition to this, the business needs to pass the independence rule. For example franchises or exclusive sub-contracting arrangements are not allowed as they lack the necessary independence.


New Business Assistance with NEIS does not restrict how the business is structured e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership or company. Any business partners can be New Business Assistance with NEIS eligible or not, however if they are not, you must have decision making control while you are on the New Business Assistance with NEIS program.


New Business Assistance with NEIS will support business proposals which are potentially viable. The basic requirement is that projected profits at the end of the nine month period are at least equal to the New Business Assistance with NEIS allowance. This amount applies to each member of a partnership whether they are New Business Assistance with NEIS eligible or not New Business Assistance with NEIS eligible.

Evidence of Demand

At the end of training an independent review will consider your business plan. Apart from meeting all of the appropriate legal requirements such as registering of business name, council permits, licences, lease agreement, partnership agreement, etc., proof of demand will need to be provided. The business plan should demonstrate potential demand through market testing and research you have conducted.

Small Business Management Training

New Business Assistance with NEIS participants are able to complete the Certificate III in Micro Business Operations. This is a nationally accredited competency based course which will be assessed through assignments. Practical ideas can be gained from the trainers and other participants who often have previous business experience. The course lasts a maximum of seven weeks. Final plans are assessed by an independent review, which recommends whether income support is granted to your business proposition. RPL (recognition of prior learning) is available if your qualifications and skills can be shown to be the equivalent of the course’s learning outcomes. Ask about RPL at your interview.

New Business Assistance with NEIS Information Centre

Regular monthly sessions are held in Ballarat and Bendigo.
To obtain more information relating to session locations and times please phone 9094 3008.
Information sessions are also held in the following metropolitan areas:
10.00am Every Monday
Visy Cares Hub (Behind Sunshine Library)
80B Harvester Road, Sunshine
2.00pm Every Wednesday
Kangan Institute - Room A237
85 Cremorne Street, Cremorne 
9.30am Every Friday
Kangan Institute - Room A218
38 Buckley Street, Essendon
2.00pm 1st Tuesday of the month
2.00pm 2nd Tuesday of the month
For session location and times for Melton and Werribee please phone 9094 3008.

Business Enterprise Centre