Press release

70 new businesses a day set up by benefit claimants

The New Enterprise Allowance has enabled 73,290 business starts since 2011.


Entrepreneurial benefit claimants have started 70 businesses on average every working day across Great Britain over the last 4 years, new official statistics show.

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) supports claimants become their own boss, or even the employers of the future – and has enabled 73,290 business starts since 2011.

The scheme provides benefit claimants who have a solid business idea with financial support and a business mentor.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

We want everyone in all parts of the country to benefit from the opportunities being created by our growing economy. We are supporting people, regardless of their background or where they are from, who want to work hard and get on.

This scheme helps claimants with a good business idea to become their own boss so they can support themselves and their families, and turn their lives around.

The UK is rated as the best place in Europe and one of the best places in the world to start a business, however the government wants to see more people from disadvantaged communities have the opportunity to turn their dream of being a boss into a reality.

The government has launched a DWP-led review, carried out by leading entrepreneur and business women Michelle Mone OBE into how to support more people from these areas to set up their own business.

Disadvantaged communities may include areas where there is a higher level of unemployment, entrenched worklessness or lower levels of education.

The NEA helps jobseekers, lone parents and people on sickness benefits with a good idea to set up their own business.

People on the scheme get expert help and advice from a business mentor who will help them develop their business idea and write a business plan. If the business plan is approved, they are eligible for financial support payable through a weekly allowance over 26 weeks up to a total of £1,274.

More information

The New Enterprise Allowance is available to:

  • people over 18 who are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • people who are claiming Income Support as lone parents or who are sick
  • people on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • eligible Universal Credit Claimants
  • dependent partners of ESA or JSA claimants

Read the latest New Enterprise Allowance statistics.

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Published 23 September 2015