Press release

Levi Roots teams up with Jobcentre Plus to encourage jobseekers to set up their own businesses

Setting up new businesses with the help of the government's New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Levi Roots in the New Enterprise Allowance scheme campaign

Dragons’ Den star Levi Roots is teaming up with Jobcentre Plus to encourage jobseekers to consider setting up their own businesses with the help of the government’s New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme.

The New Enterprise Allowance gives jobseekers access to expert business mentoring and a weekly allowance totalling over £1,200 to help them get going. Nearly 1,000 new businesses are being established every month thanks to the scheme, a trend which suggests around 20,000 have been set up in total.

Levi Roots, the south London entrepreneur behind Reggae Reggae Sauce, is passionate about the benefits of self-employment, and is sharing his experience by mentoring one lucky entrepreneur whose business was started with the help of the New Enterprise Allowance.

Levi is calling on jobseekers to tap into their entrepreneurial side and consider setting up their own business. He said:

Being your own boss is great – it can be really hard work, but it’s well worth it, so I’d encourage jobseekers to ask their Jobcentre Plus adviser about the New Enterprise Allowance. It’s a great scheme that offers expert mentoring and cash to support you while you’re starting up.

28 year old Dean Clarke is just one of the people to have already benefited from the scheme, and when Levi met Dean he was so impressed by his story that he agreed to be his business mentor.

Dean, a budding entrepreneur from Brixton, had always dreamed about starting his own business. But as a young man with no business experience he wasn’t sure where to start. Dean spoke to his Jobcentre advisor, who told him about the New Enterprise Allowance. In February this year Dean launched a business selling custom designed skateboards and clothing ‘r3v3r3nt’ – a brand for which he has global ambitions!

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

Many people want to look after themselves and their families by starting their own business.

We have helped nearly 20,000 budding entrepreneurs to do just that through the New Enterprise Allowance. I want to see many more unemployed people start a business of their own.

More information

More information about this campaign can be found here:

To be eligible to receive financial support, jobseekers have to demonstrate that their business idea is viable. The financial support consists of a weekly allowance payable over 26 weeks’ worth up to £1,274. If they need start-up capital they may also apply for an unsecured loan of up to £1,000 to help them with start-up costs, such as buying their initial equipment. Participants can only access the NEA and loan when they have a business plan which has been approved by the mentoring partnership. In addition, to qualify for the support they must close their claim to JSA and provide evidence that they have commenced trading.

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Published 21 May 2013