Monday, December 23, 2013

News: Enterprising jobseekers in Rotherham

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Enterprising jobseekers have set up 237 new businesses in Rotherham thanks to Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber and a government scheme and that helps unemployed people turn their dreams of becoming their own boss into a reality.

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) has been behind a wide range of new ventures since it was introduced in 2011. It involves jobseekers receiving business support including a mentor to help develop business ideas and write a business plan.

In Rotherham, participants receive guidance from a business mentor at Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber to develop a business idea, with continued support through to the early stages of trading.

The scheme also entitles participants to a weekly allowance worth £1,274 over 26 weeks and, start-up capital is needed, they may also be able to access a loan up to £1,000 to help with your start-up costs.

Since the scheme was launched in April 2011, 32,520 new businesses have been set up nationally with 1,280 in South Yorkshire and 237 in Rotherham.

Minister for employment, Esther McVey said: "Starting your own business takes guts and passion. We're seeing tens of thousands of people coming off benefits to set up their own company and creating a new enterprise generation. You also need support and advice if you are to turn your ideas into a successful business, which is what New Enterprise Allowance provides.

"With the economy growing, small businesses are vital to the continuing success of the country, so it's great that we have been able to extend the New Enterprise Allowance until 2016 in order to help even more budding entrepreneurs achieve their dream of being their own boss."

Jav Khan, NEA mentor and enterprise coach at the Chamber, said: "Small businesses are one of the foundations of our economy, but for many the prospect of going self-employed is daunting, particularly from a financial point of view.

"The NEA programme has proved a vital lifeline for many jobseekers wishing start their own business. With the mentoring and support available through the Chamber of Commerce, NEA candidates have been able to successfully make the transition from benefit claimants to small business owners, not only improving their own circumstances, but becoming vital contributors to the local economy in the process."

Karen Church, third party provision manager at the Department for Work and Pensions, added: "The NEA scheme is very successful programme which is helping our customers move off benefit and into self-employment.

"The Chamber of Commerce are a key delivery partner and have contributed to the success of the scheme. We are looking forward to 2014 when they will be delivering from Maltby & Dinnington in addition to their existing premises."

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber website
New Enterprise Allowance website

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