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Expert business advisors deployed across Melbourne to offer Government-funded support

Small business owners are finding themselves under unprecedented pressure in  2023, according to the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia1, with the failure rate of  smaller companies in Victoria now believed to be much higher than official insolvency data had  suggested – a trend that is showing no signs of abating. 

In an effort to provide crucial support and advice to small businesses in multiple regions in Victoria, employment services provider, Asuria, has teams of specialist small business advisors working hand in-hand with business owners to offer free advice and support, as a provider of Federal Government’s  Workforce Australia - Self-Employment Assistance program. 

Under the scheme, eight Asuria small business experts are currently active across Victoria, delivering workshops, advising on business plans, offering accredited small business training, and providing business advice sessions, business health checks, and small business coaching. Eligible businesses  seeking financial assistance may also be able to access an allowance for up to 39 weeks and rental  assistance for up to 26 weeks through Asuria’s Business Mentors. 

Pauline Bernardo, an Asuria Self-Employment Assistance Business Mentor based in Melbourne,  currently providing support to over 100 small businesses, says: “The emotions with any small business  owner cover the full spectrum from excitement to anxiety, so that experience is nothing new. But with  so many small businesses struggling to balance their books at the moment, it’s more important than  ever for business owners to have the outside support of a partner they can trust, which is where the  support of Asuria Business Mentors can really make a difference.” 

Pauline is one of eight Asuria Business Mentors currently deployed in Victoria. Her job is to work with  small business owners to help them to refine their business plans, understand their target market and  maximise sales of their products or service. Asuria Business Mentors are recruited from a range of 

backgrounds, though all are passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation, and personal  development. 

Asuria Business Mentor Pauline continues, “Sometimes the hardest part of carving a path towards  success as a small business owner can be overcoming that feeling of going alone. Through Asuria’s  delivery of the Self-Employment Assistance program, it’s not about pretending there’s one magic  solution for every business; instead, it’s about providing much-needed support, reassurance, and  impartial advice at times like this when it can sometimes feel like there’s nowhere left to turn.” 

Con Kittos, Executive Chairman of Asuria, says: “It’s no secret that small businesses across the country  are reeling from a reduction in consumer spending and the rising costs of doing business due to  inflation, with many businesses owners not sure where to turn for help and support. That’s where Self Employment Assistance from Asuria can make the crucial difference, providing much-needed outside  support when needed most and without any cost to the business. 

For more information on Asuria’s Self-Employment Assistance program and to schedule a call with a  Business Mentor, visit 

For more information, visit

For more information, visit

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