The New Enterprise Allowance Phase 2 (NEA2) is a programme part-funded by the European Social Fund and aimed at supporting eligible claimants who wish to start or develop their own business.
It is available to individuals claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and those receiving Income Support if they are a lone parent, or are sick or disabled. Some Universal Credit Full Service (UCFS) claimants may also be eligible for the scheme including those who are already self-employed and struggling to reach their minimum income floor (MIF).
New Business Starts
If you are interested in starting up a new business you would request a referral from your Jobcentre Work Coach to a local ‘Link Up, Start Up’ workshop where you can learn more about being self-employed.
If you decide the programme is for you, your JCP Work Coach will then re-refer you for an initial assessment where you can discuss your business idea with a business mentor. If the business mentor decides it to be a viable business idea, you will be accepted onto the programme and you will receive further 1:1 support along with free seminars on Marketing and Finance to help you draw up a business plan.
Once complete, your business plan will be assessed and if approved, you may then access financial support.
Financial support consists of:
— A weekly allowance of £65 a week for 13 weeks and then £33 for the following 13 weeks (a total of £1,274 over 26 weeks).
— If you need help with start-up costs, you may be able to access an unsecured loan via the Start-Up Loans Company.
Existing Self Employed
If you already have an existing business and claiming Universal Credit Full Service (UCFS), you could access support from the NEA programme. If interested you would request a referral from your Jobcentre Work Coach and a business mentor will assess the chances of increasing your earnings to the level of your Minimum Income Floor (MIF). If approved onto the programme, you will receive 1:1 support along with seminars around Marketing and Finance to assist you with creating a business development growth.
Business mentors will continue to be available for up to 1 year to provide you with advice and assistance.
To be referred to the NEA programme please contact your Jobcentre Advisor who will be able to assess your eligibility and make the appropriate referral.