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Self-employed on Universal Credit to get business support

Recipients of Universal Credit full service who are self-employed can now receive business mentoring if their earnings are low

Initial mentoring can last for up to 12 weeks and includes workshops on topics including financial planning and marketing support, as well as help in creating a business development and growth plan. If the plan is viable, people can receive a further year of support and mentoring.

This programme of support for people who are already self-employed builds on the success of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme.

The NEA offers mentoring, a weekly allowance for 6 months and access to a start-up loan to people who are out of work and would like to start their own business. Figures out today show that over 111,000 businesses have already been started with the support of the NEA.

The latest NEA figures show that the north-west had the highest number of start-ups (17,020) followed by London (13,410) and Yorkshire and the Humber (12,150).

Minister for Employment Damian Hinds said:

“The NEA has been a huge success in supporting enterprising jobseekers turn their business dreams into a reality, and now we’re offering mentoring to help people in receipt of Universal Credit who are already self-employed as they grow their businesses.”

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we want to do all we can to ensure people succeed.

The figures also show that of the people who have started up a business with NEA support:

  • Over two thirds were aged between 25 and 49, 24% were over the age of 50 and 7% were aged between 18 and 24
  • 40% were women
  • 22% have a self-declared disability
  • 13% were from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background
  • 111,540 businesses have been set up through the NEA scheme. The financial support is paid as a weekly allowance of £65 a week for 13 weeks and then £33 for the following 13 weeks (a total of £1,274 over 26 weeks)

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