NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) is a program offered by the Australian Government to job seekers receiving Newstart Allowance who are looking to start their own business. It provides successful candidates with a Certificate IV in Small Business Management through a registered training organisation. Upon completion of the course, applicants turn over their business plan for approval. If successful they will be offered a further 12 months of business advisory and nine months of funding.


Overview of the course

The NEIS training course is based on preparing you to start a business. Once completed, the course will have guided you through the steps for developing a business plan to submit for further assistance. The course is run full time over a period of six weeks, during this period students develop a basic understanding of managing a small business. Students also have multiple one-on-one meetings with the trainer.

NEIS course structure

The first week of training begins with students learning about techniques for conducting market research, how to set appropriate goals and objectives, defining their advantage against competition and an introduction to the business plan. Students are encouraged to start conducting market research for inclusion in their business plan and also scoping out the competition by researching their prices, products and marketing plans.


The second week moves into taxation, different methods of pricing, marketing and promotion. As each module is completed, the students complete the relevant section of their business plan. The course covers different types of marketing including conventional approaches such as radio and flyers as well as more modern campaigns such as social media and CRMs.


During the second half of the course, students begin developing their financial plan. Financial tables are provided which are prefilled with the required formulae. The rest of the course focuses on completing these tables and prepares students for doing their own bookkeeping. In the final week, students put the finishing touches to their business plans and present their business to the class.

The final steps

Business plans are then submitted and students spend the next few weeks putting their newly acquired knowledge into practice while they await decision on being accepted into the next part of the program.


There are 6300 places available in the NEIS program each year and it is currently being delivered by 21 training providers throughout the country.


Image: “Studying” by Steven S. is licensed under CC BY 2.0