The Government intends to help start-up businesses with the extension of the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.
The scheme, introduced two years ago, provides assistance to unemployed people who want to start their own business.
Participants with a viable business plan get business coaching and a weekly allowance with the option to take out a small business loan - The whole package is worth a little over £2,000 to budding entrepreneurs.
The latest expansion of the New Enterprise Allowance will see the benefits expanded to a further 33,000 jobseekers, meaning that 70,000 people could take advantage of the scheme.
In addition to extending the NEA to more jobseekers the scheme will be made easier to access - Previously those on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) had to wait for three months to gain access to NEA; now they can start working with a business mentor from day one.
Funding was also delayed under the previous rules with participants having to wait six months for any financial support - Under the new regime providers of a viable business plan can get access to funding straight away.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said of the new announcement;
“If Britain is to compete on a global stage, we must do all we can to support budding entrepreneurs and build a nation where everyone aspires to great things.”
“I am determined to get behind people who have ideas that will work and a can-do attitude that will turn those ideas into successful enterprises.”
“It doesn’t matter what your background is or whether you are out of work, if you are prepared to work hard and aspire to achieve more, this Government, through schemes like the Enterprise Allowance, will back you.”
Already some 8,000 businesses have taken off with assistance from the New Enterprise Allowance with some great success stories amongst those ventures that took flight.
Paul Williams, founded his chocolate company Choc Amor through the NEA and had this to say about the scheme;
“My NEA mentor was great; his vast knowledge of business start up was invaluable.”
“I have never worked so hard or such long hours in my life. I have never been happier, and it’s definitely worth it. The business is quickly building up a loyal customer base and is selling more than 15,000 bags of chocolate a month.”
John Walker, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, added:
“It is great news that the Government has scrapped the six month wait so that unemployed people with a sound business idea can take advantage of this funding.”
Jobseekers looking to reap the benefits of the New Enterprise Allowance should speak with their local JobCentre Plus.