Press release

95,000 businesses launched with jobcentre scheme

More than 95,000 businesses have been launched by jobseekers with the support of a scheme to boost innovation.


More than 95,000 businesses have been launched by entrepreneurial jobseekers in the past 5 years with the support of a scheme designed to boost innovation.

New ventures have been launched through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) across a wide range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing, design, fashion and leisure.

Jobseekers who want to start their own firm can access government funding and on-going expertise from dedicated mentors through the scheme.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said:

This year will be remembered as one in which many employment records were made. Not only did the number of people in work hit an all-time high, but this extended right the way across the board with more women, ethnic minorities, older workers and people with a disability in work than ever before.

Hardworking people who run their own firms have played their part in this success story, and I’m delighted that the New Enterprise Allowance is continuing to support those who have the get-up-and-go to launch their own business.

The figures show that of the individuals launching a business:

  • 61% were men and 39% were women
  • 69% were aged between 25 and 49 – 23% were over the age of 50 and 7% were aged between 18 and 24 and
  • 21% have a self-declared disability

More information

Read the full NEA statistics.

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 New Enterprise Allowance is available to people aged 18 and over and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance , 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.

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

  • Birmingham (1,750)
  • Liverpool (1,620)
  • Glasgow City (1,500)
  • County Durham (1,390)
  • Sheffield (1,370)

Case studies

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Published 21 December 2016