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NDIS Funding to Start a Business Guide 2021 Here are some ways to use your NDIS funding to start and run your own business. Step 1 is setting the right goals in your NDIS plan to get sufficient support.
I Heart The NDIS
Nicholas Kellar Ayudar Co-FounderView Bio

My previous article investigated if people with disability start businesses in Australia . Employed people with disability were found to be more likely to be self-employed than their without disability counterparts. Entrepreneurs with disability were also found to achieve high rates of success when given the right opportunities. This video shows a few inspiring people who have started successful micro-enterprises.

This article will look at a few ways you can use your NDIS funding to start a business in 2021.

Step 1 - Set the right goals in your NDIS Plan.

Setting Goals Setting Goals

Your NDIS Plan is all about you and your individual goals. It outlines these goals and the supports you will receive to achieve these goals. If you want to start a business and need assistance you need to make this a goal in your NDIS Plan.

Rather than just deciding your goal is to start a business, try and find something you are passionate about. Here are a few things to think about when finding your passion:

  • Do you have a specific skill? Maybe you are a gardener or an artist.

  • Is there something you have always been interested in and would like to try? You don't need to already have the skills for your future business! You can ask for supports in your NDIS Plan to develop the skills you need.

  • Are there any problems you have overcome and might want to help other people with? You might be able to turn your solution into a business.

Once you think you know what you are passionate about, you should decide if you want to do it as a business. Starting and running a business can be both challenging and rewarding. Maybe you are certain you want to be an entrepreneur or maybe you just want to give it a try to see if you like it.

If you want to start your own business you should communicate this during your planning meeting. Once you have this goal, you have a starting point to see what assistance you might need from your NDIS Plan supports.

If you have a provider, like Ayudar , that you want to work with on your business, you can get them to provide you with a funding letter that outlines what supports you might need to assist your business. If you do not currently have funding in your NDIS plan to start your business you can consider getting a plan and goals review .

Step 2 - Select a suitable way to manage you NDIS Plan.

Deciding Which Plan Is Best For You Deciding Which Plan Is Best For You

There are three ways to manage your NDIS plan:

  1. NDIA-Managed .

  2. Plan-Managed .

  3. Self-Managed .

You need to understand which of these three ways will best suit your business. One of the restrictions of a NDIA-Managed plan is that you are only allowed to use NDIS registered providers. That immediately restricts you from all services offered by non registered providers.

Another restriction on NDIA-Managed plans was discussed in a MyCareSpaces webinar on post school options for young people with disability. The restriction being how easily you can access mainstream non disability related programs. The example used in the webinar to highlight Plan-Managed and Self-managed plans was

If your passion is cooking, you don't have to go and find a disability service provider who offers cooking. You can just go to a mainstream cooking class with a support worker to assist you.

If you choose to be plan-managed or self-managed you will have greater flexibility in how you use your funding. You have the funding in your hands to do with it what you want. If you need specific training or support for your business there is a lot more freedom and opportunity to use your funding.

Step 3 - Be informed about which specific NDIS plan supports you can potentially use for your business.

Finding The Right Supports To Make Your Business Work Finding The Right Supports To Make Your Business Work

There are a few different supports that you might be able to use depending on your situation and your business.

Finding and Keeping a Job :

  • Finding and Keeping a Job is found in your capacity building supports budget if it has been funded in your NDIS plan. This type of supports are there to help you build the independence and skills needed to reach your long term goals.

  • Like the name suggests, Finding and Keeping a Job is for employment related support, training and assessments that help you find and keep a job. If your main employment goal in your NDIS plan is to be self-employed, you should be able to use this support to help you with business related things that are reasonable and necessary.

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) :

  • These supports help participants move from school to work and generally last for around 2 years. They are available in the last years of school and directly after school ends. Each school leaver's pathway to employment will be different and the skills they develop will be unique too.

  • If you are a school leaver and have the goal of being self-employed, SLES could be used for this purpose.

  • You do not have to be certain that you want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you just want to try it out to see if you like it. You will still develop some of the skills valuable to getting a job if you choose to do that in the future. Depending on your business, skills you could develop include money handling, time management, communication and traveling.

Other Supports to Consider:

  • If you need help in the day to day operations of your business, you can potentially use supports from your core supports budget to hire a specialised support worker. Assistance with Social and Community Participation is one core support that may be used for this.

  • Assistive technology (AT) can be funded in your NDIS plan if it helps you pursue your goals. If your goal is to be self-employed, you should investigate what assistive technologies might help you to do this more easily or safely.

Do you have a business idea? We can help you make it happen. Get in touch with us to find out more.


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