According to the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) November report, the local authority area with the highest number of New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) starts at the end of May this year was Liverpool.
Liverpool saw 300 new enterprises set up under the scheme and was closely followed by the Wirral. However, this is not surprising, as the model was originally tested in six Merseyside local authority districts.
The North and Midlands dominated the list, with not one local authority in the South making the top 10.
The NEA scheme, which was launched on 1 April 2011 and expanded in October this year, aims to help unemployed people who want to start their own business.
NEA is available to Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants aged 18 and over, from day one of their claim for both the mentoring and financial support element, up until they are required to join the Work Programme.
Participants receive access to a volunteer business mentor who will provide them with support as they develop their business plan and through the first six-months of trading
Once a claimant has had their business plan approved and started trading, they will be able to access financial support, which 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.
Thereafter, they have the facility to access a loan of up to £1,000 to help with start-up costs, subject to status. The total package of support could be worth up to £2,274.
Since the NEA was launched, more than 8,000 businesses have been established around the country, which the Government says shows how the unemployed are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit.
Accountant, Jon Stocker, specialises in offering advice, support and guidance on matters involving personal tax planning, business decision-making and business start-ups.