After applying for 357 jobs in three months, and only getting four responses, Murray Bridge resident Josh Wicking Feast was almost at breaking point.
That was until he decided to open up his own business. The 38-year-old had always done seasonal work and had been on and off social security benefits since he left school 20 years ago. He was also the primary caregiver for his late father, who had lost both of his legs.
Last year, Josh decided it was time to re-enter the job market but with Murray Bridge having one of the highest unemployment rates at 5.4 per cent1, he became frustrated with the seemingly endless cycle, “I got tired of putting all my efforts into job hunting and not seeing results. I wanted to be financially independent doing paid work, not relying on the system anymore.”
Josh started looking at ways to create his own employment opportunities, and that’s when he had a light-bulb moment, “I thought, what about windows? Everyone has windows.” Through self-teaching, he developed the skills and knowledge needed to start his own window cleaning business. However, he lacked experience running a business.
Josh used IntoJobs’ Self Employment Assistance program to launch Preem Window Cleaning, a business which has grown exponentially in the last 12 months. In the program, Josh received mentoring, and small business coaching where he developed business management, planning and marketing skills. He also was able to generate a stable income from his new business, secure multiple commercial contracts, and found purpose doing something he loves.
About the program
Self-Employment Assistance, delivered by IntoJobs and supported by Mas National (both part of the IntoWork Group), offers practical and confidential guidance and support on all aspects of starting and running a small business – from coaching, registering business names, website domains, business plan development, mentoring, and setting up an ABN through to financial, marketing and strategic advice.
Services are designed to offer maximum flexibility and are tailored to individual business needs, with training delivered by highly qualified and highly experienced business coaches across a range of industry and service-based professions.
IntoJobs Business Navigator Stephen Chapple said Josh was the ultimate success story, “He had a clear vision to get off social security benefits, start a business and take a well-deserved holiday,” he said.
Recently Josh launched a YouTube channel to showcase his window cleaning and other great passion – fishing, “The more successful my business becomes, the more opportunities I have to go on trips and improve the quality of my channel through better equipment and editing tools,” he said.
Steve will continue to mentor and support Josh as part of the program and said he’s a great example of how the Self Employment Assistance program can change people’s lives, “Today, he has financial stability, and continues to invest in his business, making him the ultimate success story of someone transitioning from long-term reliance on social security benefits to thriving entrepreneurship.”
Eligibility for program
To be eligible you must be at least 15 years of age (or 18 years of age to access Small Business Coaching) and:
Be an Australian citizen, or hold a permanent Visa or a nominated Visa (including a New Zealand Special Category Visa, Temporary Protection Visa and a Safe Haven Visa)
Not be an undischarged bankrupt
If you are currently employed or studying, be prepared to transition to operating your own business full-time within a year.
Some services available through Self-Employment Assistance will also have additional business eligibility criteria. This may include your business:
Being either a new business or a micro-business (up to 4 employees) at risk of not operating commercially
Demonstrating the capacity to be a viable business
Having an independent business structure
Being lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
Being established, located, and operated solely within Australia
Being structured so you will maintain a controlling interest over the business.
For more information on IntoJobs Self-Employment Assistance, go to https://intojobs.com.au/self-employment-assistance/ or contact 1300 11 JOBS (5627)