Press release

85,000 businesses launched with jobcentre scheme

Entrepreneurial jobseekers have launched nearly 85,000 new businesses through a government scheme to boost self-employment and drive innovation.


From manufacturing and technology, to leisure and fashion, jobseekers with big ideas and the passion to turn them into reality, have set up their own businesses through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) ever since it was unveiled in 2011.

Through the NEA, jobseekers who want to start their own firm can access government funding and on-going expertise about how to get started and manage a successful business from dedicated mentors.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

When we launched the NEA we sent out a clear message to claimants with the creativity and drive to go it alone that we would back them, and it is testament to this one nation’s entrepreneurial spirit that people have risen to the challenge in their droves.

The NEA has given people the confidence to secure their own financial future and move off benefits, which has also helped us to notch up a record employment rate and cut unemployment to a 10-year low.

New figures out today show that for those who have launched a business so far:

  • 62% were men and 38% were women
  • 69% were aged between 25 and 49
  • 21% have a disability

The local authority areas with the highest number of people starting a business were:

  • Birmingham (1,520)
  • Liverpool (1,460)
  • Glasgow City (1,290)
  • Sheffield (1,270)
  • County Durham (1,240)

More information about NEA

Research with NEA participants published in January showed 80% of businesses started through the scheme were still trading at the time of the survey, with more than 90% of these still going a year after launch.

Start-up support from the NEA is available to people aged 18 and over and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support claimants who are lone parents or who are sick, and some Universal Credit claimants.

After showing their business idea is viable, NEA participants are eligible for a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks for claimants to establish their start-up.

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Published 29 June 2016