Youth Enterprise Program (YEP)

This program is aimed at assisting disadvantaged youth and other youth to achieve their full potential supporting them with a business start-up or employment pathways.

According to the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) report, ‘Poverty in Australia 2014’:

The people most likely to be living in poverty are those who are unemployed (61.2%), or in a household that relies on social security as its main source of income (40.1%) and particularly on the Newstart Allowance (55.1%) or Youth Allowance (50.6%). This is largely explained by the fact that many social security payments fall below the poverty line, even with Rent Assistance and other supplementary payments added to household income.’

UrCommunity is committed to assisting those who find themselves at or below the poverty line and since ‘people most likely to be living in poverty are those who are unemployed (61.2%)’, unemployment and programs to assist people who find themselves in this predicament are of great interest to us.

Below is a table from the AUSTRALIAN YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT 2014: SNAPSHOT published by the Brotherhood of St Lawrence. This shows that youth unemployment rates have been on the rise since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008, as compared to overall unemployment rates.

The Youth Enterprise Program (YEP), has been developed in response to the appalling rates of unemployment for young people between the ages of 15-24 (37.17%).

Some of the challenges identified for young job seekers included:

Young job seekers are often not job-ready

  • Access to real workplace experience is critical to building work readiness
  • Intensive and sustained coaching would assist a young person identify their strengths and aspirations to make sure they are on the pathway to secure their first job
  • The longer young people are disengaged, the harder it is for them to move into work.

The YEP program is designed to be complementary to the successful Federal government funded New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) that is currently available as a program for the long term unemployed.

Initially we looked at the NEIS program with the view of developing a collaboration using the existing framework. However, we soon discovered a number of significant restrictions which we believe reduce the efficacy of the program for our target group.

Some of the NEIS new business restrictions include:

  • Must not currently be operating on a commercial basis
  • Must not be based on the purchase or takeover of an existing business
  • Must not compete directly with existing businesses, unless it can be demonstrated that there is an unsatisfied demand for the product or service
  • Must provide the product or service in a new way
  • Must be unemployed (precludes underemployed)
  • Must be available to work full-time in the proposed NEIS business

After reviewing the limitations listed above, it was decided to create a complimentary program that would allow us to more fully achieve our goal of developing projects for the Youth who wouldn’t meet the NEIS criteria. We will be utilising some of the existing frameworks that are currently at the heart of why the NEIS program is so successful and these will include:

  • Training to be conducted by registered training organisations such as RMIT
  • Microfinance to be provided by NAB
  • Allowing participants to develop their own ideas and projects

The differences will include:

  • Removing the limitations that currently exist in the NEIS program
  • An expanded mentoring program
  • Allowing participants to become self-employed by becoming involved with our community café or Commercial Food Forest businesses
  • Participants will be able to work on these programs from as little as 20 hours per week while progressing through the training
  • Once the training has been completed UrCommunity will enter into a collaborative arrangement with participants in order to provide the ongoing support required to ensure the success of their business

YEP aims to develop a pathway that takes into account the challenges faced by young people looking to enter the workforce/self-employment and providing them with the support and infrastructure required to allow them to acquire the skills necessary to successfully develop their own enterprise.


  1. Interview prospective YEP participants
  2. Assess personal eligibility approve or mentor to employment
  3. Approved – Commence Certificate IV in Small Business Management
  4. Assess YEP pathway – Café, Food Forest or Other
  5. Assess YEP Business Plan Refine & mentor
  6. Commence Workplace training alongside mentoring team
  7. Work in existing enterprise to gain the practical experience required
  8. Obtain the NAB Microfinance once training successfully completed
  9. Establish own business Start running collaborative arrangement with our support

If during the course of developing the business concept this doesn’t prove to be sustainable or the participant doesn’t continue or wish to be continued, UrCommunity will support the participant to find an appropriate employment pathway.

For further information or to express an interest please Contact Us.