Self-Employment Assistance Program

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Mississippi Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) for UI Claimants Interested in Starting Their Own Business

What is the Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP)?

Designed as a fast track to entrepreneurship, the SEAP assists people receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in starting their own business. If accepted into the SEAP, you will receive entrepreneurial training and mentoring services to help you launch your business idea.

Who can apply for the SEAP?

If you currently have an active claim receiving regular unemployment benefits, you may apply. To apply, use the links near the bottom of this page.

What are the differences between collecting regular Unemployment Insurance benefits and collecting benefits under the SEAP?

Because you will be spending 40 hours or more per week either preparing to start your own business, working at that business full time or attending training, you will not have to be available for or seek other full-time employment while participating in SEAP.

What are the eligibility requirements?

The maximum duration for SEAP benefits is 26 weeks. SEAP benefits will end when you exhaust the benefits on your current unemployment insurance program. SEAP participants must:
Be identified through the State’s profiling system to exhaust unemployment benefits or unlikely to return to their last job or occupation;
Be able to work;
Be actively and regularly engaged in efforts to establish and start their business, which may include training and securing certifications, business license, location, and other necessary processes;
Submit a SEAP application;
Provide a business plan;
Report to MDES regularly their efforts, successes, challenges and seek guidance regarding where to look for resources to assist with the challenges.

What type of training and assistance is available?

If accepted into the SEAP, you will attend intensive training that includes the following topics:
Personal qualities and finances required for business
Long- and short-term goals
Various forms of business organization
Business plan development
Resources and information on getting started
Cash flow projections and financial statements
Record keeping and taxes
Legal and insurance issues

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 To Apply for the SEAP Online, Click Here


For a printable form, click here.

To Download a Fact Sheet about this program, click here.

Email questions to about this program here.

For Self-Employment Assistance information from the United States Department of Labor, click here.

Filing Your Weekly Certification

Filing weekly claims while participating in the SEAP is the same as filing regular benefits via the internet or contact center. Filing weekly certification via mobile app will not be available. You must answer questions pertaining to the establishment of your business and becoming self-employed. You will be required to report any earnings made while self-employed, but these earnings will not be deducted from your weekly benefits. All earnings made outside your self-employment must be reported and will be deducted from your weekly benefits. All earnings are to be reported for the week you earn them, even if you receive the pay at a later date.