Independent evaluations of NEIS have found that 65 percent of those assisted by the NEIS program were still self-employed three months after NEIS allowance ceased, and a further 20 percent were in other employment. Here are some of their success stories.
Alf Harper is a perfect example of how a life can turn around with the assistance of NEIS. Alf had been on Centrelink benefits for almost 12 months and had been enrolled in a ten month rehabilitation course for alcohol abuse. Towards the end of the course he felt he needed to start something new in his life. He had been in business previously and felt he could use his skills to start a home maintenance business. Alf was accepted into NEIS through Mission Australia .
Completing the NEIS program has given Alf the confidence to go out and seek further training to better his skills. He is currently teaching at NSW TAFE for the Carpentry and Joinery pre-trade courses while also operating his own business.
Alf is a long way from where he was prior to commencing NEIS. “The NEIS program has helped me to build something for the future,” he said.
Contact: Alf Harper
Mobile : 0437 344 012
Like so many others who enter the NEIS program, Bobbie and David Byrnes wanted to be in charge of their own destiny. They had a young family and after years of working long hours for someone else, David decided he wanted to work his own hours and to be in control of the projects he did.
With the assistance of Mission Australia Toowoomba, David and Bobbie established their own business, Byrnsey's Glass and Security, supplying and installing security screens, doors and glass for building contractors, home owners, real estate agents and local government.
In their first year of business, Byrnsey's Glass and Security has exceeded expectations and is currently turning over a healthy profit.
Contact David or Bobbie on 07 46361326
Carole Buck from Darwin is one participant of the 12-month program who has set up her own graphic design studio, Carole B Graphics, which is now turning a steady profit since launching in June 2007.
Following a marriage break up four years ago, Carole, in her mid 50s, found herself without employment, with a mortgage to pay off and two teenagers to look after.
Originally a nurse, Carole was facing a 12-month refresher course for not having worked in the industry for years.
She instead decided to follow her passion for creativity, and after two years at Charles Darwin University Carole graduated with a Diploma in Graphic Design. Her greatest challenge was yet to come.
“For someone my age with little industry experience, finding a job was a real challenge,” Carole said.
“Just when I was at the point of giving up on becoming a graphic designer after months of looking for work, a staff member at Centrelink told me about the NEIS program and the benefits of starting up my own consultancy.”
Through NEIS, Carole was assigned a program mentor who had also operated her own business, and understood about the hard work, long hours, success and heartache involved.
Nine months after launching, Carole has now recouped all the money she invested, has taken on more than 50 client projects, and is now seeing a healthy profit come in.
She has also completed a further qualification in adult education and expanded the business to include a software training consultancy.
“Another key benefit of my business is working from a home office, which gives me time to spend with my kids whenever I need, as well as keeping the overhead costs of the business low,” Carole said.
A few years ago, Anthony and Deborah Edwards constantly struggled to make ends meet. They lived in a housing commission home on their combined yearly income of $22,000, and a lack of formal education and confidence seemed to prevent them from moving forward – they also feared their sons were destined to live the same life.
But Deborah and Anthony had a business idea and determination. They completed NEIS through Mission Australia Campbelltown and, as Deborah explains “developed a confidence within that we have never known before which feeds our drive to succeed.”
Clean Scene, a business which offers cleaning and maintenance services to commercial, industrial and residential clients was the result of their period on NEIS. It's a little different from the original idea that they went in with – that of cleaning and maintaining artificial plants – but it's one that's turning over $100,000 per year.
Thanks to Mission Australia NEIS, Anthony and Deborah have developed a successful business and turned around their private life. They are in the process of moving out of the housing commission home into a private rental and are giving back to the community through the charity organisation which once they needed.
Darwin 's Ameer Brahim had spent most of his working life as a labourer in the mining and security industries. At the age of 47, Ameer decided he'd turn a lifelong hobby of producing canvas paintings, wood-stained indigenous artefacts and textile printing into an online business.
As a single father on a low income with three teenagers and two grandchildren to support, the decision to follow to his dream job brought its own set of challenges.
He approached Centrelink for potential job opportunities, but was instead informed about the NEIS program and the benefits of setting up his own business selling his artworks.
After being placed with a NEIS program mentor, Ameer was given the encouragement and motivation to set up his company, TenTotems.
Through the 12-month Mission Australia program, Ameer completed his Certificate IV in Small Business Studies which taught him how to write a business plan, before he was given financial support to set up his online business.
He also received assistance from the Indigenous Business Incubation program, which runs the Darwin Business Hub for indigenous businesses in the region.
Ameer said he struggled with the program at first, but said the advice and support he received from Nerida and Mandy helped him to eventually find his feet with the business.
After only three months of being in the program, Ameer has set up his website www.tentotems.com where he will sell his unique artworks online. He has also exhibited in a number of galleries around Australia , including Katherine Art Gallery , Aboriginal Fine Arts, Didgeroo Breath, Muk Muk Trading and Indigenous Creations.
In five years, Ameer hopes to employ a number of indigenous artists who he will help to promote online, as part of his goal to ensure the indigenous culture remains strong across the Northern Territory .
Vibrant Health is a real NEIS success story – three times over!
Chris Soo came into the NEIS program at Mission Australia Adelaide with his unique business idea of combining the specialist disciplines of manipulative physiotherapy, meridian style acupuncture and pilates to improve the results his patients could enjoy in the clinical setting and into the rest of their lives.
Stephanie Vaughan's business idea was to combine her background in medical and research science, tertiary lecturing with traditional Chinese medicine to add an extra dimension to gynaecological and general health care as well as introducing specialist skills in cosmetic facial rejuvenation acupuncture in Adelaide .
It was by chance that Chris and Stephanie met during the NEIS program business training. The thorough examination of objectives and goals that is part of the business course showed that they both wanted to run businesses with the same philosophy and goals. The tutors in the program highlighted the potential for Chris and Stephanie to open not only their own individual businesses, but to also create a third business – Vibrant Health a new and vibrant health centre where they could provide the opportunity to share this philosophy with other practitioners and a greater number of people.
Since its inception Vibrant Health has flourished. It is the venue for both Stephanie and Chris' businesses as well as hosting a psychologist, an audiologist and a massage therapist. They describe it as “a place with happy staff, funky, warm rooms – an outlet for our passion for preventative, holistic health.”