Self Employment

Self-Employment is an employment program of Employment Nova Scotia that assists unemployed Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) eligible individuals to create jobs for themselves by starting a business.

Program Information

Program objective

The Self Employment (SE) program provides entrepreneurial support and financial assistance to LMDA eligible, unemployed participants starting their own business. Entrepreneurial support may include orientation, information sessions and/or workshops, coaching, mentoring, and access to specific business implementation training to enable participants to develop and implement their business plans.

Who delivers Self-Employment?

Employment Nova Scotia delivers Self-Employment and other Employment Benefits and Support Measures in Nova Scotia.

Eligibility Information

Am I eligible for participation in Self-Employment?

To be LMDA eligible for Self-Employment you must meet one of the following:

  • have a current Employment Insurance (EI) claim
  • have had an EI claim that ended within the last 60 months
  • have received benefits under the EI emergency response benefit within the previous 60 months
  • have been employed with gross insurable earnings of $2000 or higher annually, in at least 5 of the last 10 years

Other criteria may apply.

What else do I need to know?

  • The date your completed application is received by Employment Nova Scotia is the date when you are considered to have requested assistance. This date is used to determine whether you qualify as a LMDA eligible participant within the time frames noted above.
  • If you are currently receiving Employment Insurance, you may continue to receive your regular Employment Insurance benefits until the end of your benefit period, after which you may be eligible to receive a living allowance to the end of your Self-Employment agreement.
  • If you are not in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance for living expenses.
  • Temporary financial assistance may be provided in exceptional circumstances to cover all or part of the following costs related to participation (e.g., dependent care, disability needs, tuition costs, transportation and accommodation).
  • The maximum duration of an agreement with a participant is 40 weeks.

Application Information

How do I apply?
  • As part of the application process, it is necessary for you to receive an employment assessment and develop a Return to Work Action Plan with a case manager. The case manager's decision is required before Employment Nova Scotia can assess your application. If you are interested in this program, the first step is visit a Nova Scotia Works Employment Services Centre in your local area who will advise you on your options and help you with your Self-Employment application process.


Forms for Self-Employment Providers

Contact Information