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Enterprise Allowance - Are you on benefits and looking to start your business?

Posted: 06 November 2014

The new Enterprise Allowance can provide money and support to help people start their own business if they get certain benefits and have a business idea that could work. It’s part of the government’s policy of helping people to find and stay in work.


You must be aged 18 or over, have a business idea and get one of the following benefits:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support as a lone parent
  • Employment and Support Allowance, if you’re in the work-related activity group


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, or Access to Work grant.


You could get:

  • a mentor to help you develop your business idea and write a business plan
  • ongoing support from a mentor in the early months of trading

How it works

A specialist will assess your business idea and if it has potential:

  • you’ll be signed up to the scheme and get a business mentor
  • your mentor will help you write a business plan

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


Categories for this article

  • HMRC
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