The New Enterprise Allowance

The New Enterprise Allowance can provide money and support to help you start your own business if you’re getting certain benefits.

  • You must be aged 18 or over, have a business idea and get one of the following benefits: 
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (or your partner does) 
  • Employment and Support Allowance (or your partner does) 
  • Income Support, if you’re a lone parent or you’re sick 
  • You may also be eligible if you get Universal Credit
  • Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can check if you qualify and refer you to the scheme. 
  • You don’t qualify if you’re part of the Work Programme, but you can still get other help setting up a business
Help you can get
You could: 
  • Get a weekly allowance paid for up to 26 weeks (up to a total of £1,274) 
  • Apply for a loan to help with start-up costs
  • The loan has to be paid back, the allowance doesn’t. 
  • Any money you get doesn’t affect your Housing Benefit, tax credits, Income Tax, Universal Credit or Access to Work grant
  • You could get a business mentor who will: 
    • Help you develop your business idea 
    • Support you to start trading 
How it works
A specialist will assess your business idea. If it has potential you’ll be signed up to the scheme and get a business mentor.

You’ll be able to claim financial support if:
  • Your business plan is approved 
  • You start working at your business for 16 hours or more per week 

Additional information
The Jobcentre Plus work coach will explain:
  • How New Enterprise Allowance works 
  • Who will assess the business idea
  • Who provides the practical support 
  • What Jobcentre Plus expects from you 
  • How much the allowance will be and how it will be paid 
  • About the loan 
  • What will happen when the allowance ends
Subpages (1): Where to begin