News story

Scotland sees more jobless entrepreneurs become their own boss

UK Government support has helped 6,900 Scottish benefits claimants start their own business since 2011.

More than 6,000 new businesses have been started by jobless benefit claimants in Scotland according to new official statistics released today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The figures reveal that in Scotland a total of 6,900 new businesses have been created using the UK Government’s New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) since it was introduced in April 2011, contributing to a British total of more than 73,000 new start-ups created through the scheme.

In Scotland the top five local authorities for start-ups being created (up to June 2015) are:

  1. Glasgow City 1090
  2. Fife 630
  3. Edinburgh 600
  4. South Lanarkshire 560
  5. North Lanarkshire 470

The NEA provides benefit claimants who have a solid business idea with financial support and a business mentor.

Employment Minister, Priti Patel, said:

We want everyone in all parts of Britain to benefit from the opportunities being created by our growing economy. We are supporting people, regardless of their background or where they are from, who want to work hard and get on.

This scheme helps claimants with a good business idea to become their own boss so they can support themselves and their families, and turn their lives around.

The UK is rated as the best place in Europe and one of the best places in the world to start a business, however the Government wants to see more people from disadvantaged communities have the opportunity to turn their dream of being a boss into a reality.

The Government has launched a DWP-led review, carried out by leading entrepreneur and business woman, Michelle Mone OBE, into how to support more people from these areas to set up their own business.

Disadvantaged communities may include areas where there is a higher level of unemployment, entrenched worklessness, or lower levels of education.

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.