Can Small Business Owners Apply for Unemployment Benefits?

February 20, 2024
minutes to read
Ben Winford
Table of Contents

Today, we're diving into a topic that has gone under the radar for many people: the possibility of getting unemployment benefits while starting your new business. The idea might seem counterintuitive, but the good news is that a program that provides support while you explore and establish your small business does exist. In this blog, we will run the details of the little-known Self-Employment Assistance program and how it can be a game-changer for aspiring entrepreneurs.

How The Self-Employment Assistance Can Help

The Self-Employment Assistance program was established in July 2022. It was introduced to replace the New Business Assistance program to offer more flexible and tailored support to individuals looking to explore or enhance their small business ventures. Its flexible services cater to various needs, ensuring participants receive the support they need for their unique entrepreneurial journey. 

The Self-Employment Assistance program allows participants to choose the level of support that meets their needs and those of their small business. It includes various components such as Exploring Self-Employment Workshops, Business Plan Development, Accredited Small Business Training, Business Advice Sessions, Business Health Checks, and Small Business Coaching.

To be eligible for the program, individuals must meet certain criteria, including being at least 15 years of age (18 for Small Business Coaching), being an Australian citizen, holder of a permanent visa, or a nominated visa holder, and not being an undischarged bankrupt. Additional eligibility criteria may apply depending on the specific service chosen.

The program is delivered in 51 regions across Australia by a network of Self-Employment Assistance providers. Interested individuals can contact their local provider to discuss eligibility and explore the available options.

Is The Self-Employment Assistance Program Free?

One of the notable aspects of the Self-Employment Assistance program is that there is no cost to the individual. The duration of the program varies depending on the specific service accessed, providing flexibility to participants.

Program Outline

1. Exploring Self-Employment Workshops

Embarking on a business venture starts with understanding the fundamentals of self-employment. The workshops span 1 to 2 weeks and guide participants in comprehending the intricacies of starting a business, validating business ideas, and making informed decisions about self-employment.

2. Business Plan Development

A solid business plan is the cornerstone of any successful venture. The Self-Employment Assistance program provides one-on-one support and essential tools for developing a comprehensive business plan. The program also includes an assessment of the plan's viability, ensuring a strategic approach to business development.

3. Accredited Small Business Training

Knowledge is power, especially in the entrepreneurial world. Accredited Small Business Training offers participants the opportunity to acquire valuable skills through various qualifications such as Certificate III and IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business, Micro Business Skill Set, New Business Ventures Skill Set, and Small Business Management Skill Set.

Participants can apply for a minimum number of jobs during their Small Business Training, allowing them to focus entirely on honing their entrepreneurial skills.

4. Business Advice Sessions

Individualised guidance can make a significant difference in navigating the complexities of small business ownership. Business Advice Sessions, one-hour one-on-one consultations with experienced business advisors, cover various topics, from launching a startup to improving commercial viability. Eligible participants can book up to 2 free sessions every 12 months.

5. Business Health Checks

Understanding the health of your business is vital for growth. The Business Health Check, a 3-hour one-on-one session with a Self-Employment Assistance provider, helps analyse your business's current state, identify improvement opportunities, and connect you with relevant local business support services. Eligible participants can access one Business Health Check every 12 months.

6. Small Business Coaching

Small Business Coaching provides a 12-month program for those seeking personalised mentoring and support. Eligible participants may receive up to $300 for small business startup costs like business insurance, an allowance for up to 39 weeks and rental assistance for up to 26 weeks.

Eligibility Criteria

To participate in the Self-Employment Assistance program, specific eligibility criteria must be met:

  • At least 15 years of age (18 for Small Business Coaching)
  • Australian citizenship, permanent visa holder, or nominated visa holder
  • Not an undischarged bankrupt
  • Additional eligibility criteria specific to the chosen service

How to Participate

The program is accessible through a network of providers spread across 51 regions in Australia. To access Self-Employment services, potential participants should contact their local provider to discuss eligibility and explore available options.

Cost and Duration

The beauty of the Self-Employment Assistance program lies in its accessibility—there's no cost to the individual. The duration varies depending on the service accessed, ensuring flexibility and tailored support for each participant.

How Thriday Can Help

Thriday's automated banking, accounting and tax software allows new business owners to focus on their business rather than the numbers. If you are interested in using Thriday and are participating in the Self-Employment Assistance program, then reach out to Thriday and let us know. We would be happy to discuss an exclusive discount with you. Thriday's commitment to empowering small business owners extends to providing support to enhance the chances of those navigating the Self-Employment Assistance program.

Key Takeaways

While starting a business is challenging, it can lead to unprecedented success with the proper support. The Self-Employment Assistance program opens avenues for exploring and developing business ideas and provides a safety net for small business owners. By leveraging this program, Australian entrepreneurs can unlock opportunities, enhance their skills, and navigate the path to business success.

For more information and to connect with a Self-Employment Assistance provider in your area, visit the website here. Remember, a thousand-mile journey begins with a single step, and the Self-Employment Assistance program might be that crucial first stride for your small business aspirations.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

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