Release type: Media Release


30 years of NEIS supporting small business


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Western Australia

The Minister for Employment Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash has today launched a booklet to celebrate 30 years of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). NEIS has made a significant difference to the lives of Australian job seekers who are willing to have a go at starting their own small business.

Launching the booklet in Perth today, Minister Cash said the scheme has supported more than 150,000 job seekers and played an important role in fostering enterprise.

“Small business is vital to a strong economy and a prosperous nation, however, too many innovative ideas remain unrealised without adequate support and that’s why NEIS is so important,” Minister Cash said.

“NEIS is a great way to help those who are out of work transition into a situation where they not only create gainful employment for themselves but opportunities for fellow Australians.”

Minister Cash today met with the National NEIS Association, NEIS participants and business owners in Western Australia to hear how NEIS has helped job seekers embrace opportunity and thrive.

Each year, NEIS provides up to 6,300 job seekers with assistance to pursue self-employment as an alternative to paid employment and thousands of businesses have been created through the scheme.  

Minister Cash said NEIS is delivered by 21 organisations across Australia and these providers have been integral in making the scheme a success.

“The expertise and experience of NEIS providers allows them to support job seekers with nationally accredited business training, provide help with business plans and mentoring throughout their first year of operation,” Minister Cash said.

“I have spoken with many small business owners who have received NEIS assistance and I am always impressed by the variety of ideas that have now become reality – from game developers to live music venues, wellness clubs and textile designers.”  

NEIS was established in 1985 and is now a key part of the Australian Government’s jobactive service, a $6.6 billion investment in helping job seekers find and maintain meaningful employment. 

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting job seekers to re-enter the workforce, and sometimes the best pathway is through self-employment,” Minister Cash said.

“I encourage anyone looking for a job to consider starting their own business and to contact their local jobactive provider to find out how NEIS may be able to help them.”

To view the 30 years of NEIS booklet visit

For more information on NEIS visit