The latest quarterly figures for the New Enterprise allowance show that since its inception in April

2011, more than 250 people have been supported with a mentor to develop their businesses in

Worcester and 130 of those have been able to launch a start-up business as a result.

 

The policy, introduced by the Coalition Government aimed to repeat the success of the 1980s

Enterprise Allowance in helping people who were out of work to start their own business. The

conversion rate of over 50% suggests that it is working well and making a real difference in

Worcester where unemployment has fallen from 2,375 to 1,045 in the same period, a decline of

56%.

 

The New Enterprise Allowance aims to help unemployed people claiming out of work benefits who

wish to start up their own business. Participants in the NEA work with a business mentor to develop

their business idea. Once they have started trading and left benefits, they receive a weekly

allowance worth a total of £1,274 over 26 weeks to help them get their business going. Although

figures are maintained for the number of start-ups there are no figures available for the number of

extra people employed but as the majority of new jobs are being supported in small businesses

there is anecdotal evidence the impact of the policy might be even greater than the number of

people taken off the unemployment register.

 

The latest figures show that across Worcestershire as a whole 1,130 people have received mentoring

and support and 610 new businesses have been started as a result, a conversion rate of 54%, both

this and the Worcester figure are above the national average of 50.8%. Worcester has the highest

take up of the scheme of the six Worcestershire districts and, jointly with West Worcestershire, the

highest number of new businesses in the County as a result of the scheme.

 

Commenting, Robin Walker MP, a former member of the BIS Select Committee said

“It is exciting to see how new businesses and enterprises have been supported through the New

Enterprise Allowance. Running your own business is challenging and having done it myself I know

that it is not for everyone but where people have the right support they can really succeed. On top

of all the people who have been given hope and pride in building up their own business there will be

more who have been given a chance to work as a result of these businesses being there. Worcester

is a fantastic place to be in business and I want to make sure it remains so.”

 

“The battle with unemployment is never-ending and it is right that Government should keep

reaching for new tools to help people find work. As the overall figures for unemployment have

fallen, so it becomes more important to focus on those furthest from the work place and most in

need of support. I will be speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference about the

challenges of supporting work for people with disabilities and this is an area in which we in

Worcester have some wonderful local examples. I am proud that Worcester enterprises such as

Titania Cybersecurity and Witsendwizardry, whose launch I have attended this week are overcoming

the challenges of autism and Asperger’s to give people with these conditions access to work.”

“A culture of enterprise is not something that Governments can create but it is something that we in

politics can support and foster. I am keen to work with local businesses to see what works and to

keep pressing for innovative approaches that give more people a chance. The New Enterprise

Allowance has been one policy that has clearly made a difference and it is good to see Worcester

and Worcestershire leading the way in embracing it.”

 

Notes to editors

New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) aims to help unemployed people claiming out of

work benefits who wish to start up their own business. Participants in NEA work with

a business mentor to develop their business idea. Once they have started trading

and left benefits, they receive a weekly allowance.

For more detailed statistics on the New Enterprise Allowance across the country see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/46283

8/nea-official-stats-to-june-2015.pdf

For a breakdown of its take-up in Worcestershire see:

New Enterprise

Allowance: Mentor

starts

Allowance: Business

 

UK 144,140 73,290

Bromsgrove 170 100

Mid

Worcestershir

e 140 70

Redditch 150 70

West

Worcestershir

e 200 130

Worcester 250 130

Wyre Forest 220 110

Worcestershir

e 1,130 610

For more information on Witsendwizardry see:

http://www.witsendwizardry.co.uk/

For more information on Titania see:

https://www.titania.com/