Press release

Northern powerhouse leads the way in business start-ups

Nearly 70,000 new businesses set up across the UK by go-getting benefit claimants.

The entrepreneurial north east has seen more businesses set up with the help of a government scheme than any other area of the country, including London, new official statistics show.

Around 13,500 of the 70,000 new businesses set up by benefit claimants under the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme are from the north east.

Entrepreneurs from the great cities in the north and central England make up the majority of new business start-ups under the NEA. The scheme provides benefit claimants who have a solid business idea with seed funding and a business mentor.

Liverpool is the city with the most number of start-ups (1,270) outside the Greater London area, closely followed by Birmingham (1,100).

Numbers of start-ups in other parts of the country include:

  • central England – 13,310
  • London and the home counties – 12,790
  • north west – 10,610
  • southern England – 8,220
  • Scotland – 6,580
  • Wales – 3,740

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

Through this scheme, we’re helping to unlock the talent and entrepreneurialism of the great cities in the north and central England, with these areas showing the highest number of jobseekers turning a big idea into a business.

Starting up in business successfully needs so much more than just funding – it needs the right support and advice at the right time, and we’re doing just that through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

We will ensure that every part of Britain, including the northern powerhouse, benefits from a growing economy and that everyone who works hard gets the opportunities they need to succeed.

Supporting and growing businesses across the north is a key part of the government’s plans to build a northern powerhouse. The government is rebalancing the economy so everyone nationwide benefits from its recovery.

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 to 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
  • people who are claiming Income Support as lone parents or who are sick
  • people on Employment and Support Allowance
  • eligible Universal Credit Claimants

Read the full statistics on New Enterprise Allowance: April 2011 to March 2015.

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