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04 November 2020

Can the NDIS support you if you want to start or grow your business?

Do you dream of having your own business? Do you already own a business but feel as though you would like more support?

New NDIS supports available from 1 July mean there are now more opportunities to get the help you need to develop a career pathway doing something you love.

So if your NDIS employment related goal is connected to starting a business or micro business, read on.

What the NDIS may fund.

There are two types of NDIS funding that may be relevant for you if you have a disability and want to start your own business or grow an existing business.

Keep in mind that the NDIS will only fund “reasonable and necessary” supports that are related to your disability. If you feel like you aren’t achieving your employment goals, or making the transition to self-employment, the NDIS may help you break down those barriers.

1. Employment Support

Employment Support is all about building capacity. It can provide short term assistance to help you explore the type of work or business that suits you, build foundational skills, manage complex barriers or even develop a career plan.

Example: You have your own business but you would like to expand, which means hiring staff. Due to your disability, you need assistance to manage the recruitment process and conduct interviews.

2. Supports in Employment – Specialised supported employment

This is a new type of funding that provides tailored support for NDIS participants who are less independent, need help to manage behaviour, or need ongoing support in the workplace.

Specialised supported employment is ongoing Core budget funding that can be used in any place of work including self employment, a micro business or a family run business.

It may include:

  • On the job training
  • Intermittent support with daily work tasks
  • Personal care
  • Assistance with managing behaviour or complex needs.

Example: You run your own business but because of the impact of your disability, you are unable to operate certain machinery related to the goods you make. The NDIS may fund someone for a few hours a week to assist.

Case Study: Ellie’s toy making business.

Ellie loves to make fabric toys. She wants to go to TAFE and study sewing, then launch a business selling handmade toys at the markets.

Ellie enrols in TAFE or a vocational course to improve her sewing skills. While she is studying, the organisation delivering the course provides support related to her disability, not the NDIS.

Once Ellie completes her training, she realises that she needs help to develop her understanding of the financial aspects of managing a business but can’t quite grasp some of the information available online due to her disability. She uses Employment Support to hire someone to teach her about business banking and accounts.

Ellie needs support with personal care on the days when she attends the markets so she uses specialised supported employment to fund someone to help her with mobility and personal care on market days.

Good to know.

  • If you want to use providers of your choice, such as an individual who can assist with a task that you are unable to do because of the impact of your disability, you’ll need to self manage or use plan management for your NDIS Plan.
  • Being well prepared for your NDIS Planning meeting is really important if you want to obtain NDIS funding for goals related to your own business. Set some goals related to what you want to achieve in your business and be clear about how your disability may be creating barriers to what you want to achieve.
  • Employment supports come from the NDIS Capacity Building budget category so are intended as temporary supports to help you to build skills and become more independent. Specialised supported employment is a Core budget so is more likely to be ongoing.

If your aspiration is to be self-employed or launch your own micro business, these new NDIS supports may help you smash through some of the disability-related barriers on the way to realising your dream career.

Need help?

If you have an employment-related goal but you’re unsure about what NDIS employment supports can help, have a chat with the Leap in! Crew. Call us on 1300 05 78 78, email us at or chat with us online on our website.


Further reading

NDIS employment supports: All you need to know.

Achieving your NDIS employment goals.

Employment series: Resources to help you find a job.

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