For many people, the idea of running their own business can seem an impossible dream. We’re working to help them make it happen.
New Enterprise Allowance is a national Department for Works Pensions initiative to help jobseekers become their own boss and self-employed people on Universal Credit increase their income.
Cumbria Chamber delivers New Enterprise Allowance as the prime contractor for Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside, having beaten national players in a tough competitive tendering exercise.
We recently won the contract again for a third time.,
Across the region, New Enterprise Allowance has supported 8,500 individuals looking to start a business, with 5,500 created so far.
Successful applicants – who must be on Jobseeker’s Allowance or certain other benefits, and be referred by their JobCentre – get access to one-to-one support from a business mentor to develop their business plan and get started, plus business workshops, financial support worth up to £1,274 over six months, and the opportunity to apply for a StartUp Loan of up to £25,000.
The scheme now also offers one-to-advice and workshops to people who are already trading but receive Universal Credit because their income from self-employment is low.
For some, self-employment can be a more workable option than being an employee.
Lesley Robinson, our Start-Up and Enterprise Manager, said: “Some people are keen to start up to build on a key skill or hobby they’re passionate about.
“For others it’s about gaining a feeling of control over their future.
“And for some, self-employment can be a more workable option than being an employee – and the flexibility that self-employment brings can suit those with childcare commitments, health issues or other constraints.”
Here are some of the Cumbrian success stories.
Mark Knowles, from Endmoor, is selling holidays to Bhutan and Nepal to customers all over the world. Click here to read more.
Paul Sanderson, from Carlisle, is about to launch a home delivery service supplying cakes and sweets. Click here.
Janice Watson, also in Carlisle, set up a mobile Prosecco bar. Click here.
And Suzi Smith is running a thriving florist in Maryport. Click here.
© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce