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New Enterprise Allowance

ESF and DWP logos - landscapeThe New Enterprise Allowance Phase 2 (NEA2) is a programme part-funded by the European Social Fund. It's aimed at supporting eligible claimants who wish to start or develop their own business.

To be referred to the NEA2 programme contact your Jobcentre Advisor who will be able to assess your eligibility and make the appropriate referral. 

The scheme is available to individuals claiming:

  • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA),
  • Universal Credit (UC),
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • and those receiving Income Support.

Some Universal Credit Full Service (UCFS) claimants may also be eligible for the scheme. This includes those who are already self-employed and struggling to reach their minimum income floor (MIF).

New business start ups

If you're interested in starting up a new business, ask your Jobcentre Work Coach to refer you to a local 'Link Up, Start Up' workshop. At the workshop you can learn more about the implications and responsibilities of being self-employed. 

If you decide the programme is for you, your Jobcentre Work Coach will then re-refer you for an initial assessment. Your business idea will be discussed on a one-to-one basis.

Once accepted onto the programme you will be assigned a business mentor who will give further one-to-one support. You will also attend marketing and finance workshops to help you draw up a business plan.

Your completed plan will be assessed. If approved, you then may access the financial support from the NEA once you have ceased claiming your benefit. 

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.

See how the New Enterprise Allowance programme is giving 5 new entrepreneurs the start they need.

Existing self employed

If you already have an existing business and are claiming Universal Credit Full Service (UCFS), you could access the NEA programme and a mentor to assess the chances of increasing your earnings to the level of your Minimum Income Floor (MIF). If approved onto the programme, we will support you with creating a business development growth plan.

Business mentors will be available for up to one year to provide you with advice and assistance.

Visit Gov.UK or email for more information.

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