Policy &


Business Start-Up

NOTE: The NEA scheme is now closed to new applicants.
Sponsored by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and operating in conjunction with Cumbria Chamber, N&W Lancashire Chamber, St Helens Chamber and Blue Orchid. The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is a scheme designed to assist unemployed people who wish to start their own business.

It is available to individuals claiming Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and those receiving Income Support if they are a lone parent, or are sick or disabled.

Individuals interested in the NEA Programme can refer themselves to the scheme provided they are in receipt of an eligible benefit or they can be referred by Job Centre Plus to a contracted provider organisation which matches them with a business mentor after a 1:1 Business Assessment meeting. The mentor assists the individual in drawing up a business plan & financial forecast which is then assessed by the provider organisation.

Workshops covering finance and social media & marketing will also be provided.

Once the NEA has been completed and the individual is ready to launch their business they can also access further financial support from the Job Centre by way of the NEA allowance which is payable weekly over the first 6 months of trading and totals £1274.

The scheme has supported over 2000 new businesses to be successfully launched in the last 7 years in East Lancashire – helping reinforce the enterprise credentials of the area.

All clients will be offered 12 months ongoing support on completion of the NEA programmes.

For further information on the programme and the support available please contact your local JobCentre Plus office or to find out more and refer yourself to the programme please contact Nicola Greenhalgh on 01254 356438.