Self Employment & Enterprise Support
At a time when job opportunities are limited, self-employment
can be an attractive and viable option for some unemployed people.
While self-employment will not be the desired path for all,
business opportunities can be developed based on an
- Skills, contacts and experience built up in previous jobs.
- Hobbies and interests.
- Existing informal work or volunteering.
However, setting up a business can be a difficult process and
unemployed people can face particular barriers to becoming
- Limited understanding of the business start up process.
- Difficulties accessing start up finance.
- Limited connections with potential customers and
- May live in more disadvantaged area with limited local market
for products and services.
- Lack of confidence.
- Fear of giving up benefits for risk of business failure.
To help overcome the barriers to self-employment and support
people to start their own business, the main source of support for
unemployed people is Jobcentre Plus. Jobcentre Plus advisers
can tell you about help you can get to start up your own business.
For example, individuals may be able to apply for
New Enterprise Allowance for business ideas that could work and
you are claiming JSA, Income Support or ESA. Through the New
Enterprise Allowance, individuals will be given a business mentor
and, if the business plan is approved:
- A weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks.
- A loan to help with start-up costs.
If individuals have a disability, health or mental health
condition and getting New Enterprise Allowance, extra support can
be received from an Access
to Work grant.
Other supports and advice around starting and running a business
can be accessed through: