From long-term benefits to entrepreneurial success

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.

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.”

To find out more about Preem Window Cleaning, go to https://www.facebook.com/PreemWindowAndSolarPanelCleaning or watch Josh’s latest fishing adventures and window cleaning tutorials, on https://www.youtube.com/@lightningsfishingadventures.

For more information on IntoJobs Self-Employment Assistance, go to https://intojobs.com.au/self-employment-assistance/ or contact 1300 11 JOBS (5627)

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1 https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-11/Labour%20Market%20Dashboard%20Murray%20and%20South%20East.pdf

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