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How the NDIS Can Help You Start a Small Business

Today, more than ever before, people are seeking to become self-employed by starting their own business. Although the NDIS can help to support participants transition to self-employment, it’s important to understand the ways in which the NDIS can help, what funding categories are available, where to start and any limitations to ensure that you can forge your own self-employed path.

A young man with Down syndrome with a support person sitting at a cafe table working
A young man with Down syndrome with a support person sitting at a cafe table working

What can the NDIS Fund?

If you are a NDIS participant, there are currently two types of NDIS funding that may be relevant to you – Employment Supports & Supports in Employment (Specialised Supported Employment).

These two NDIS funding supports can give you more opportunities to get the support you need, develop a career that you love, and help with some of the disability-related challenges that might come up when increasing your autonomy.

Remember, to access this type of funding, it must align with the reasonable and necessary criteria set by the NDIS.

What is Employment Support

Employment Support can help you to build your capacity and provide you with short-term assistance. It can help you to better understand the types of work that you are interested in, develop your skills, manage complex barriers, or develop a career plan.

What is Supports in Employment (Specialised Supported Employment)?

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

This means there 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

Which option is right for you?

When deciding what type of funding is right for you, it’s a good idea to consider any challenges that you may come up against when starting your business due to the impact of your disability, and how NDIS funding can help to solve those challenges. It can be helpful to write down the challenges and potential solutions.

Some things to consider when starting your own business are whether you need:

  • Help to understand legal issues

  • Assistance in developing a business or marketing plan

  • Lessons or training to create your product or develop your skill set

Where to start

The first place to start is with your goals. If starting your own business is one of your goals, it’s vital that you discuss this with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner during your planning meeting or plan review meeting that way the NDIA can take your goals into consideration when determining the funding supports you may need as part of you NDIS plan.

When you have your plan funding allocated, you can search for and hire people to support you in achieving your goals. Being plan managed can give you more flexibility to build a team to support you within your business by having access to both NDIS registered and unregistered service providers.

Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or



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