More than 400 entrepreneurs in Manchester have ditched benefits and started their own business since 2011 with the help of a government scheme, according to the Department of Work and Pensions.
The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is a long-term economic plan which offers financial support and advice to unemployed and disabled people looking to get back to work by being their own boss.
Since its launch in 2011, the NEA has helped 40,240 businesses nationwide get off the ground, 430 of those from Manchester.
Prime Minister David Cameron praised the progress the initiative has made in helping Mancunians over the past three years.
“I am determined to do all I can to support the British economy and that includes helping small businesses and budding entrepreneurs to get on,” he said.
“In the last two years we have helped tens of thousands of people to turn their ideas into a viable business through the New Enterprise Allowance and I am delighted that so many people in Manchester have benefited.
“My message is simple: if you have drive, determination and are prepared to work hard, we will back you – that is part of our long-term economic plan to ensure a better and more financially secure future for Britain, for hardworking people and their families.”
Budding entrepreneurs looking to benefit from the scheme can get advice from a mentor before presenting their business plan for approval.
If accepted, they then receive weekly installments of up to £1,274 for a total of 26 weeks, while mentors will continue to support them through the initial stages of the business.
Esther McVey, the Minister for Employment, outlined the importance of small-scale companies to Britain’s ongoing recovery from the recession.
She said: “Small businesses are the heartbeat of the continuing success of the country, so it’s great that tens of thousands of budding entrepreneurs have been helped to make their dreams of becoming their own boss a reality.”
Image courtesy of Ben Fisher / Gavi Alliance, with thanks.