Unemployed Get Help Starting Up in Business

 The UK’s government is launching an enterprise scheme to help the long-term unemployed start up in business.

That’s good news on the surface but the downside it is only open to people who have been out of work for six months or more, which seems a shame to me as those who’ve just lost their jobs are often less demoralised and full of ‘get up and go’ energy.

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) initiative is open to anyone who has claimed jobseekers allowance for 26 continuous weeks or more.

Under the NEA, participants will get access to a business mentor and, once they develop a viable business plan, financial support. A weekly allowance of £65 for the first 13 weeks is available, followed by £33 for a further 13 weeks. Those taking part will also be able to apply for a loan of up to £1,000 to help with start-up costs.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the scheme aims to stimulate enterprise and aims to create up to 40,000 new businesses by 2013. Funding will be delivered by local enterprise agencies and chambers of commerce.

British employment minister Chris Grayling said: “By expanding the NEW we can ensure that those who find themselves out of work, but with a good idea, get the right advice to turn that idea into a successful business venture.”

National Enterprise Network chief executive Dawn Whiteley said she welcomed the scheme “in principle”, but voiced concerns that support was only available to those out of work for six months or longer. “Our view would be that it would beneficial to capture clients sooner, when levels of motivation are still high and before people have eaten into any savings which might assist start-up costs.”