Australia has an entrepreneur visa for people from overseas wanting to invest in a new business, and now it wants young people already in the country to consider setting up an enterprise. The Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment initiative has been launched to encourage young people to start their own business.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash says the initiative will provide practical support to young people who want to turn their business idea into reality and create a job for themselves and other Australians.

Computer'Self-employment and entrepreneurship are real options for young people who are unemployed, but only a small number of them choose to pursue such opportunities,' she said.

The initiative includes a new website called SelfStart which acts as a beginning point for young people who wish to explore and develop their ideas into a successful business. It aims to connect entrepreneurs to existing services and programmes as well as provide information that will assist them in starting their business.

There will be Exploring Being My Own Boss workshops which are designed to engage potential entrepreneurs and provide them with a taste of what is involved in self-employment and entrepreneurship. Workshops will be delivered nationally by existing New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) providers, with 1,000 places available each year.

Entrepreneurship facilitators will be located in Cairns, Hunter and Launceston in Tasmania to provide extra help in three regions experiencing high rates of youth unemployment and low rates of youth self-employment. The facilitators will promote entrepreneurship and self-employment and support potential entrepreneurs to establish their own businesses, including connecting them to existing services and programmes.

New Enterprise Incentive Schemes (NEIS) will be expanded to help to create more places where young people can be trained and mentored on how to start their own business. Cash says an extra 2,300 NEIS places will be funded each year, making a total of 8,600 places available annually.

The eligibility criteria for NEIS will also be broadened to allow job seekers who are not in employment, education or training, including those who are not on income support, to access the scheme

'While these measures are primarily focused on young job seekers, people of all ages and backgrounds seeking assistance to start their own business may access them provided all other eligibility requirements are met,' Cash says.