People who have been unemployed for six months and want to start their own business will be offered access to business mentoring and financial support of up to £2,000.
The New Enterprise Allowance was announced by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith at the Conservative conference in October.
Mr Duncan Smith told the conference: “If you have been unemployed for six months and want to start your own business, we want to support you.
“We will provide business mentoring and a financial package worth up to £2,000 to get your business up and running. We want to see 10,000 new small businesses by next year.”
Mr Duncan Smith pledged to work with the voluntary sector to set up the mentoring back-up for those taking advantage of the scheme.
According to figures from the Federation of Small Businesses, more than 500,000 people start their own businesses each year and Britain’s five million small enterprises – employing between ten and 50 people – contribute 49 per cent of the national turnover.
LINK: Starting up in business