Question :
Hi experts,I was made redundant due to covid, and am currently collecting the jobseeker benefit. I have since been offered a well-paying role, although this is not what I want to be doing. I was the primary earner in our family of four, and have a home mortgage of around $400k to service. (This is currently on interest only)I have now been presented with an opportunity to start a new business which will take up all of my time, and I was wondering if starting this business will immediately affect the jobseeker benefit, or will that only cease when the business returns a profit or pays me a wage? Is there any financial assistance for unemployed people to start a business? Anything specifically for businesses that have a great environmental impact? Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Question submitted 15/07/20 @ 03:25pm
Industry: COVID-19 Funding & Support
  • Up

    Hi there – there are some choices to make there for you, well done for reaching out and I wish I could say ‘do this or do that’ but I can’t do that – all I can say is – times like this are not normal and there is always a level of uncertainty with startups around how long will it take before you have the income and certainty to know you have a good thing going and can fund your wages and also pay your mortgage. I am not aware of funding programmes for unemployed to start businesses – I think there should be, but right now, this is not part of any Government Programme that I am aware of.

    Re your jobseeker – I don’t have clarity on this, I would say, you might be able to reach out to MSD and ask that question, they have in my experience been quite good with engagement.

    The thing about startups is that most take 1-3 years to get into positive cash, and around 70% of them fail over 5 years – they are high risk, because they are new and because it always takes longer – my question to you – can you do the job and the startup on the side – at the same time – and then if the startup takes off and can fund you, then jump them? A bird in the hand and all that?


    Hi there
    Suggest you look up the self employment start up payment through WINZ
    Application is made via MyMSD if you have this set up and I recall you can get funding for up to $10k of start up related costs where you are on the benefit.
    You should also look into the flexi-wage for self employed arrangements, also administered through WINZ.
    With both of the above, WINZ will require, and will assist you with, a business plan and may also direct you to a business training and advice grant of up to $1,000.

    All the best,


    I’m not an expert , and I may be completely out of line , but isn’t the Covid part of Jobseeker ‘only’ for 12 weeks ? Is your business ready to go , and start making income , or will it take time to get all your ducks in a line ?

    And while I may get flamed for this , if it is ready to go , is it possibly something your partner may start up , you give her or him a bit of a hand ( while still being available for work of course ) , after 12 weeks you may even feel you would be more suited to take over or form a partnership , maybe earlier if things go well in THEIR new business ?

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