Assistance Program
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Providing Assistance To New & Existing Micro-Businesses

If you need help to explore, run or operate your new or existing micro-business get in contact with Illawarra ITeC.
ITeC’s program is FREE of charge and includes mentor support, income support and rental support for eligible applicants.
If you want to get the ball rolling for your Self-Employment future, we run two courses per month. Ring ITeC on 02 4223 3100 for the next training start date.

Do you need assistance with starting or growing your business?

Illawarra ITeC delivers a Self-Employment Assistance Program which can help you explore, run, and operate your new or existing micro-business through tailored advice, training, and mentoring.

The Self Employment Assistance Program will provide a range of services for current and aspiring business owners, ranging from flexible individual Business Advice Sessions to a structured 12-month package of Small Business Coaching. The program’s flexibility will allow people to choose the support that best fits their needs to run a successful small business. The Self-Employment Assistance Program replaces the previous NEIS program.

There are a range of support services available, ranging from getting help with your business idea, developing business plans and small business training to receiving tailored business advice so that your business becomes financially viable.

Illawarra ITeC Self-Employment Assistance Program services include:

  • Personalised business advice, mentoring and support services for new start-ups and existing businesses.
  • Business workshops.
  • Accredited business training tailored to meet your needs and experience: Certificate III and IV in Entrepreneurship & New Business and Small Business Skill Sets.
  • Business Plan Development.
  • Business Health Checks.
Exploring Self-Employment Workshops
  • Understand what’s involved in starting a business.
  • Generate or validate a business plan.
  • Make an informed decision as to whether self-employment is right for you.

Click to view workshop details

Small Business Accredited Training

Small business training provides you with the business skills you need to start and run a small business. We offer accredited qualifications in:

  • Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB30220)
  • Micro Business Skill Set (BSBSS00102)
  • New Business Ventures Skill Set (BSBSS00104)
  • Small Business Management Skill Set (BSBSS00104)

Help To Develop a Business Plan

A business plan helps people focus on the steps needed to make their businesses succeed. The Self-Employment Assistance Program can help you develop a business plan in several ways, including through:

  • Tailored, expert one-on-one business advice.
  • Small business training.
  • Help and assessment of your business plan to check its viability.
Small Business Coaching And Mentoring

Small business coaching and mentoring will provide eligible participants with:

  • Access to personalised business mentoring and support for up to 12 months
  • Support for up to $300.00 worth of small business start-up costs, such as business insurance
  • An allowance for up to 39 weeks and rental assistance for up to 26 weeks (talk to us about your eligibility
Business Health Checks

A Business Health Check is a 3-hour, one-on-one session with one of our professional Business Advisors who will help you assess how your business is currently running and find ways to improve it.   You can access one Business Health Check every 12 months (eligibility applies).

Business Advice Sessions

You can book up to 2 free one-hour sessions every 12 months (eligibility rules apply). These sessions may involve:

  • Gaining advice on establishing your business
  • Improving your business’ financial position
  • A range of other small business-related matters including marketing and promotion, financial, legal and compliance etc to suit your needs

To be eligible 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 (including a New Zealand Special Category Visa, Temporary Protection Visa Holder and a Safe Haven Visa Holder)
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • not already be in education and/or employment for more than 25 hours per week
  • meet any additional eligibility criteria specific to the Service(s) which they have chosen, including any criteria in the Chapter for the relevant Service.

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 or existing business 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 provider
  • 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.

For further information please refer to the following site

Business Advisors

Virginia Wren
Leigh Jewiss
Kayla Capocchiano

Find out more about Self-Employment Assistance

Ring ITeC today on 42 233 100 and have a chat to one of our business advisors or send us an email to 


Virginia has been employed as a Business Advisor, Trainer and Mentor at ITeC for the last 19 years but has always been involved with regional and economic development.  She previously held  positions as EO at Illawarra ACC and held numerous Management positions working for the Federal Government for 14 years.  Virginia has a passion for helping small business to start, run and grow their business having owned her own two businesses in the past.

Virginia Wren

Business Development Manager

Thank you so much. I got a lot out of my time with Kelly, my business mentor.

I felt a lovely warmth & connection from her straight away & her positive reinforcement on my vision was fantastic.

Rebecca Brennan


Elizabeth Vanderburg commenced her business Highlands Woof Walkers in February 2022 in the NSW Southern Highlands with business advice, mentoring and income support assistance through the Self Employment Assistance Program (previously known as the NEIS Program).   This Federal Government Program is available to anyone who is looking for business advice, mentoring, training, business plan development and business health checks.

Elizabeth is passionate about ensuring that all the dogs in her care have a great time, be that a quick walk, an overnight stay, home visit or play date and day care.      Elizabeth has a vibrant successful business that is continually fully booked out and loves working with dogs.   Getting to know their personalities has been great fun she added.    Being part of the SEA Program, Elizabeth was able to receive the business advice, assistance, and training to enable her to focus on what she needed to do to make the business a success.   She is thankful of the income support she received for the first nine months and the business plan development ensuring that she had every step of her business worked out.    I now have a successful business that I am really proud of, Elizabeth added.

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Servicing Regions

Wollongong, Southern Highlands,
Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla & Bega

Further Information

Check out the Dept of Employment & Workplace Relations for more info