New Enterprise Allowance can provide money and support to help you start your own business if you're getting certain benefits. Contact Jobcentre Plus to apply or find out more.

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Find out what you can get and if your business is eligible


Jobcentre Plus


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

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support as a lone parent
  • Employment and Support Allowance, if you’re in the work-related activity group

A Jobcentre Plus adviser can refer you to the scheme as soon as you get a qualifying benefit.

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

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, or Access to Work grant.


You could get:

  • a mentor to help you develop your business idea and write a business plan
  • ongoing support from a mentor in the early months of trading

How it works

A specialist will assess your business idea and if it has potential:

  • you’ll be signed up to the scheme and get a business mentor
  • your mentor will help you write a business plan

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

The Department for Work and Pensions has more information about the New Enterprise Allowance.

Additional information

The Jobcentre Plus adviser 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

Read the guidance on back to work schemes if you’re claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus for more information about New Enterprise Allowance.