Government of New Brunswick


The Workforce Expansion Self-Employment Benefit Program helps unemployed individuals create a job for themselves by starting a new business. The program provides various types of support during the initial development phase of the business including financial assistance, coaching and ongoing technical advice. Coaching is tailored to meet individual needs and can include subjects such as business plan development, accounting, and marketing.

The Self-Employment Benefit Program is delivered in partnership with non-profit, private and/or public organizations. Services with these organizations are purchased in accordance with the New Brunswick Public Purchasing Act, Regulation 94-157.


To qualify for the Self-Employment Benefit Program, both the applicant and their business proposal must meet specific criteria. For further details, please refer to the Self-Employment Benefit - Guide for Applicant in the ‘Forms and Packages’ section to the right.


To access the Self-Employment Benefit Program, the applicant must meet with the local Self-Employment Benefit Coordinator in their area. Refer to the ‘Related Links’ list below. The self-employment benefit coordinator will analyze the applicant’s strengths and needs, and recommend whether or not self-employment is a viable option.

If this is an option, the applicant submits an application and, with the assistance of the Self-Employment Benefit Coordinator, prepares a business plan. The application and business plan will be presented to a committee and evaluated according to provincially established program criteria.

The applicant must not start their business until approval for the Self-Employment Benefit Program has been granted in writing, and the applicant has signed a contract. The successful applicant will be officially made aware of their acceptance into the Self-Employment Benefit Program by receipt of a Letter of Offer from the Department.