What financial help can I get to start my business?
Sadly I’m old enough to remember the old Enterprise Allowance Scheme which I have to say was not much more than a cynical attempt to reduce the jobless figures. However that did not prevent quite a few enterprising people using it to help start their business in spite of an almost total lack of support.
This time around, there are some significant potential improvements in the programme. As I understand it, every applicant will be assigned a “mentor” who will work with them during an eight week period to produce a business plan. That plan will then be assessed by an administering panel and if deemed viable, the applicant will receive the allowance as follows http://www.dwp.gov.uk/adviser/updates/new-enterprise-allowance/
NEA will be available to Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) customers who have been claiming for 26-weeks or more.
Participants will get access to a volunteer business mentor who will provide guidance and support as they develop their business plan and through the early months of trading. Once a customer can demonstrate they have a viable business proposition with the potential for growth in the future, they will be able to access financial support. This will consist of:
- a weekly allowance worth £1,274 over 26 weeks, paid at £65 a week for the first 13 weeks and £33 a week for a further 13 weeks, and
- if they need start-up capital, they may also be able to access a loan up to £1,000 to help with their start-up costs.
The total package of support could be worth up to £2,274 to each participant who starts their own business.
I have a few concerns about the mentoring scheme (see next post) but the main point to bear in mind is – don’t just plan to start because there is an allowance. Make sure you have a real desire to run a business or be self-employed and line up some customers before you decide your start date.