Austin Macauley 30 March 2016

Enterprise allowance kick-starts 80,000 new firms

A Government scheme that encourages jobseekers to launch businesses has created more than 80,000 new firms in the last five years with Liverpool generating the most start-ups.

The city saw 1,410 new firms created as a result of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), followed by Sheffield with 1,250. County Durham, Birmingham and Glasgow completed the top five.

NEA provides claimants with a weekly allowance worth up to up to £1,274 over six months.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show 37% of those setting up business using support from NEA were women, 24% were over 50 and one in five had a disability.

Employment minister Priti Patel said: ‘The New Enterprise Allowance is one of the great success stories of this government’s drive to get more people into work, as the UK’s employment rate stays at a record high.

‘Small businesses are the engine room of the UK economy, and by helping people off benefits and to become their own boss we’re enabling them to make the most of the business opportunities out there at the moment.’

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