Workbridge, where abilities equal employment.

Self Start

Application form

PDF version: Self Start application form

Self Start application - accessible version. Self Start application form - accessible version

Applications can be filled in on-line but need to be printed and signed by the applicant.

What is Self Start?

The Self Start fund assists people with disabilities to set up their own business ventures. The aim of this programme is to provide greater flexibility by covering the additional costs relating to a person's disability in becoming self-employed.

Self Start is based on the following:

  • opportunity
  • priority for people with high support needs
  • individualised funding
  • returns of the business going to the individual.

Only applications which are consistent with realistic and reasonable outcomes for the individual will be approved.

Funds available under this programme are not subject to means testing, but every effort is made to ensure that allocations are fair and based on need.

The Self Start funding lifetime limit is $5,200 per individual.

Funding is not available to supplement business income.

Eligibility Criteria

A business plan

Each Self Start application must be accompanied by a comprehensive business plan, cash flow projection and feasibility study. The business plan will be evaluated for its feasibility by a professional vetting agent engaged by Workbridge.

Selection of the agent takes account of the following:

  • management skills
  • accounting skills
  • marketing skills
  • interest in providing this type of service
  • understanding of unemployed people starting their own business.

The vetting agent considers:

  • main issues in the business plan
  • strengths and weaknesses of the plan
  • applicant's ability to run the business
  • applicant's ability to adapt to change
  • applicant's ability to market the goods and services produced.

20 hours personal effort

Applicants in self employment are required to spend a minimum of 20 hours personal effort per week in the business.

Completed applications can be posted to the Workbridge Central Processing Unit (CPU), PO Box 30-341, Lower Hutt 5040, delivered to any Workbridge Centre, or emailed to

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