New Enterprise Allowance can provide money and support to help you start your own business if you’re getting certain benefits.


You must be aged 18 or over, have a business idea and get one of the following benefits:

You may also be eligible if you get Universal Credit.

Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can check if you qualify and refer you to the scheme.

You don’t qualify if you’re part of the Work Programme, but you can still get other help setting up a business.

Help you can get

You could:

The loan has to be paid back, the allowance doesn’t.

Any money you get doesn’t affect your Housing Benefit, tax credits, Income Tax, Universal Credit or Access to Work grant.

You could get a business mentor who will:

  • help you develop your business idea
  • support you to start trading

How it works

A specialist will assess your business idea. If it has potential you’ll be signed up to the scheme and get a business mentor.

You’ll be able to claim financial support if:

  • your business plan is approved
  • you start working at your business for 16 hours or more per week

Additional information

The Jobcentre Plus work coach will explain:

  • how New Enterprise Allowance works
  • who will assess the business idea
  • who provides the practical support
  • what Jobcentre Plus expects from you
  • how much the allowance will be and how it will be paid
  • about the loan
  • what will happen when the allowance ends