Thursday, June 25, 2015

News: More enterprising jobseekers in Rotherham

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Rotherham is amongst the top areas in the country for the number of people setting up businesses with the help of a government scheme.

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

Rotherham ranks 36th out of all 380 local authority areas for new startups via the NEA scheme. 880 people have started working with a mentor since April 2011 and 460 have gone on to start a business.

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

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Employment Minister Priti Patel said: "Through this scheme, we're helping to unlock the talent and entrepreneurialism of the great cities in the north and central England, with these areas showing the highest number of jobseekers turning a big idea into a business.

"Starting up in business successfully needs so much more than just funding – it needs the right support and advice at the right time, and we're doing just that through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

"We will ensure that every part of Britain, including the northern powerhouse, benefits from a growing economy and that everyone who works hard gets the opportunities they need to succeed."

Sheffield ranks third in terms of business starts with 1,080 from April 2011 to March 2015 and Doncaster is at 12 with 650. Barnsley is 45th with 410.

At start of the 2015 calendar year, new starts to NEA are delivered by new providers meaning that there are slight differences in definitions between grant funded starts before 2015 and contracted phase starts via new providers.

Pinnacle People now delivers the scheme in Rotherham after it secured the £1.5m Government contract for South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North East Yorkshire and the Humber.

Acting as a prime provider, sole delivery of the contract includes hour long initial assessments on the viability of business ideas, business planning seminars, practical classes, links to other support in the area and eight weeks of support through the pre-trading period. The Pinnacle People business club is also available to all NEA participants offering a range of free-to-use services.

In previous contracts, Pinnacle People has used a flexible staffing bank and deployed over 200 freelance advisors to over 2,000 customers per month. The firm also calls on a bank of volunteer mentors.

NEA website
Pinnacle People website

Images: Pinnacle People

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