A UK Government scheme which is helping jobseekers become their own boss was welcomed today by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael.
Mr Carmichael was in Glasgow to join North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and Glasgow City councils in celebrating the 2000th business started through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme.
The Secretary of State and representatives from DWP were joined by councillors from the four local authorities - who have worked with Jobs & Business Glasgow and Lanarkshire Enterprise Services - at the milestone event.
Mr Carmichael said the businesses started through the NEA would be an inspiration for many more to follow. He said:
It is great to see this scheme is helping thousands of budding entrepreneurs become their own boss across Glasgow, West Central Scotland and the whole country.
I have met some inspirational people today who have turned their innovative ideas into viable businesses. I am sure that in the years ahead they will become the inspiration for many more to follow in their footsteps.
This Government is determined to do all we can to help small business and entrepreneurs. The New Enterprise Allowance reaffirms my belief that with the correct support and advice the only barrier to starting your own business should be your imagination.
Find out more about the New Enterprise Allowance:
New Enterprise Allowance
The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) offers expert mentoring and financial support to jobseekers who want to start up their own business. It is available to people over 18 who are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, lone parents on Income Support, or people on Employment and Support Allowance in the work-related activity group.
People on the scheme get expert help and advice from a business mentor who will help them to develop their business idea and write a business plan. More than 40,000 businesses have now been setup across the UK since the scheme was launched in 2011.
Helen Fraser, Nails by Helen from East Dunbartonshire
50th Business Start Up
Helen, built on her experience working in a nail bar and used the knowledge she gained by observing other technicians to make her business dream a reality.
She said: “I had technical knowledge but no business experience which is where NEA came in to play. They helped me with funding and supported me in making an achievable business plan. Without their help, I would have been lost. I am grateful for their belief in me and the foundations they gave me to build my business.”
Sami Omar, Afillion Studios from Glasgow
500th Business Start Up
Afillion Studios is a rehearsal and recording space in the heart of Glasgow. Sami Omar embarked on a journey, which grew from passion for music, combined with knowledge gained through studying music.
“I graduated from university and couldn’t find a job. On the Job Centre Plus website, I found a link to NEA; beginning my journey towards opening my business,” he said.
“My Jobs & Business Glasgow mentor helped me every step of the way, including putting together a business plan. Through NEA, JBG, Business Gateway, Prince’s Trust & Glasgow City Council I gathered funds to buy equipment, renovate premises, setup the website and for promotion.”
Maureen Luby – Glossa Services from South Lanarkshire
1,000th Business Start Up
Glossa Services specialises in proofreading, teaching English as a foreign language and translating Greek to English. Maureen’s journey began when her Jobcentre Plus adviser referred her to Business Gateway for advice on setting up in business.
She said: “I attended many of Business Gateway courses and took something from all of them: time management and the ability to prioritise tasks in particular. The NEA loan helped me purchase a computer and other equipment essential to my business.
Meetings with my NEA mentor were of great help to me, especially with my business plan. The support I received was excellent.”
Ewan Gilmour – Clicks Convert from South Lanarkshire
1,500th Business Start Up
Ewan got involved in digital marketing in 1997 at the start of the dot com boom. After years of running his own online business, Ewan expanded upon his business by working with digital marketing agencies.
He said: “NEA helped me at a critical time to set up my digital marketing agency. After discovering a gap in the market, I decided to offer International Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click Management. With the support we’ve received, Clicks Convert has been able to branch out – now joined by Cristina Ballesteros, a digital marketing veteran of 15 years, Clicks Convert has started a multilingual web store for an Organic Farm in Spain. With clients in Scotland, Spain and Holland, Clicks Convert has enjoyed a wonderful blooming in their first year of trading. We’d like to thank you for all the support!”
2,000th Business Start Up
Catchfish Social Media prepare and launch social media campaigns connecting businesses to new customers. Billy started his business after being made redundant.
“My first step was to visit my local Business Gateway where I was advised on the benefits of NEA and how it could help me launch and grow my business. The tutorial classes and mentoring were second to none. Over the course of a few weeks, I learned how to formulate a solid business plan, project cash flow and market my business,” he said.
“Bill Duncan was assigned as my mentor; he went the extra mile to ensure my business was in good stead for a quick launch. He kept me grounded and helped me set realistic ambitions. I couldn’t be thankful enough for the help and advice he gave.’’