Help with moving from benefits to work – Starting Your Own Business

Your Jobcentre Plus work coach at your local Jobcentre Plus can tell you about resources which can help you to start your own business.
You may be eligible for ‘New Enterprise Allowance’ if you are over 18 years old and you can prove that your business idea could work. You or your partner needs to be receiving either Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance if you are in the work related activity group, or Income Support if you are a lone parent, sick, or disabled.

You will be assigned a business mentor who will be able to provide advice and support on either becoming self-employed or starting your own business and beginning to trade.

Once the business plan has been created and approved, you will be able to receive a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks and a loan for help with start up costs.

You may be able to get extra support through an Access to Work grant if you have a disability, health or mental health condition and you are receiving New Enterprise Allowance.

When starting a business, you first need to ensure that you have a realistic idea which you can turn into a successful product or service to others. There is local support available if you need help with this such as Growth Hubs in England, Business Gateway in Scotland, NI Business Info in Northern Ireland and Business Wales in Wales.

To turn your idea into a business, you will need to follow certain steps to reach your goal. You will need to research your market to ensure that you have identified potential customers. You will need to then develop and test your product or service with the customers that will be using them/it to ensure that a demand is present.

If you think your idea could be successful, you will need to work with other partners and suppliers in order to fulfil order or requests for services. You will then need to set up your business depending on the legal structure that is right for you (sole trader or limited company) and then look for funding. Funding can come from many different sources such as savings, friends and family, loans or government backed schemes.


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