In my last post, I talked about micro-enterprises and some of the things that need to be considered when starting one. I also mentioned that there is a lot of support available to help you along the way. In this post, I’ll go into some of those supports and how they might be able to help you start your own micro-enterprise.
While this post is targeted at micro-enterprise support in Canberra, Australia, some of it does apply to other parts of Australia (and there may be equivalent support available in other countries). I’ve divided micro-enterprise supports into four categories, predominantly based on their funding source/purpose:
Government Funded Small Business Support
This category involves support provided by state/territory and/or federal government programs dedicated to supporting small businesses. Often, these supports are highly subsidised, if not free, for people wanting to set up their own micro-enterprise. These supports predominantly help people create a business plan and develop the skills and knowledge to start and operate a business.
- SRBEC/NRBEC (Regional NSW/ACT)
- WSBC (Western Sydney)
- ASBAS (Nationwide)
- Business Connect (NSW)
- CBRIN (Canberra Region)
- NEIS (Nationwide)
NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Funded Support
NDIS supports are provided in relation to a specific disability. For example, most of our clients are either on the autism spectrum or have a mild to moderate intellectual disability, and have an NDIS plan that funds supports that we provide to them. These supports can range anywhere from a monthly coaching session all the way through to an intentive SLES (School Leaver Employment Supports), which involves multiple sessions per week. If this is the type of support you need, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to help you 😉.
This type of support is often at the premium end of the scale, however it can also have the most impact at times. Having said that, it is more than likely not going to be cheap (but it is often worth it). This category consists of business accelerators, coaching and other programs to help you set up your own small business. Quite often, there are programs tailored to a specific industry provided by people with years of experience to help set up businesses similar to ones they’ve run previously.
Gratis support is support that can be provided at no or low cost from friends or family. If someone you know has skills in business administration, then they might be able to provide advice or assistance to help set up and operate your new micro-enterprise. I’ve worked with participants who have had the whole family involved in the running of a micro-enterprise, with each member of the family contributing their own skills to the planning and running of the business.
As I’ve said previously, running a business is hard, however you don’t need to do it alone. The amount of support out there is phenominal, and to be honest, without it my businesses wouldn’t be where they are today. Help comes to those who ask, and these days, more than ever, it’s important to be able to ask for and receive help.