Paul Tinsley
Mark Lane

Member Article

Surge for Sheffield enterprise programme

A Sheffield enterprise programme which has helped hundreds of people start their own businesses has seen a surge in enquiries since changes in eligibility were introduced.

Sheffield Enterprise Agency (SENTA) has seen a fourfold increase for enquiries into its New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme, which provides support for people who are unemployed and claiming Jobseekers Allowance but want to start their own business.

Individuals are now eligible for support from the first day of claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance, whereas previously they had to wait 13 weeks, and SENTA is now seeing more people than ever wanting to receive support through the NEA scheme to make the move to setting up their own business.

The scheme allows individuals to claim a weekly, tax-free allowance for the first six months of running their business and gives them access to a range of practical support.

This includes one-to-one support from a professional business advisor and attendance on a business planning workshop to help them get their business off the ground.

Since the programme launched in 2011, SENTA has seen an 89 per cent survival rate in business start-ups after the first six months, with a variety of sectors being supported, including engineering and retail.

The current national failure rate of start-up businesses in the UK is between 70 and 80 per cent, so the NEA scheme is bucking this trend.

Paul Tinsley, business support manager at SENTA, said: “We are thrilled with the success of the NEA programme and it’s great to see that more than 340 people have benefited from the services and support on offer through the scheme.

“The increase in enquiries since the eligibility changes were put into place shows that people who are out of work, for whatever reason, are eager to take on the opportunity to start their own business.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Mark Lane .

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