According to the latest Government data, over 46,000 individuals have set up their own businesses via the New Enterprise Allowance, which provides mentoring and financial support to people on benefits who want to become their own boss.
The NEA provides assistance to people on certain state benefits (Jobseekers’ allowance, lone parents, and sickness benefits) to start up a wide range of ventures, including ventures such as the ‘Amazing Hull Tours’ (which explores the more gruesome side of the town’s past), a drama school, and a gas engineering company.
Since the scheme went live in 2011, around 2,000 new businesses have been founded each month, 10,610 have been set up by the over-50s, and 8,590 by people with disabilities.
How does the allowance work?
If you are eligible (i.e. you currently receive one of the benefits mentioned above, are aged 18 and over, and have a suitable business idea), the Government can provide a weekly allowance for up to 26 weeks (£1,274 in total), and also help you apply for a Start-Up Loan.
Eligible applicants will also receive help from a mentor to create a business plan, and provide help during the early stages of training. The mentor will decide whether or not the business idea is viable, and is therefore eligible to receive funding.
Importantly, if your idea is accepted, your current entitlement to benefits will not be affected if you receive the weekly NEA allowance.
Would you like to become a business mentor?
If you feel you could help aspiring entrepreneurs who have joined the scheme, watch this video featuring the NEA ambassador, Levi Roots, for some reasons why you should get involved.
You can find out more about the NEA via GOV.UK.