Liverpool top for Government-backed business start-ups

Liverpool has ranked top place in a national league table for new business start-ups using the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance (NEA).

In the period from April 2011 to last December, 1,230 ventures were set up using the funding in a geographical area, including Knowsley and St Helens.

In second place is Birmingham with 1,080 start ups, followed by Sheffield (1,050), Glasgow City (1,030), and County Durham (950).

Wirral is placed in seventh position (770), while Manchester occupies the ninth berth with 640 NEA start-ups.

NEA supports the next generation of soon-to-be businessmen and women by providing financial support through a weekly allowance and a mentor for people on benefits who have a sound business idea.

The support is available to jobseekers, lone parents and people on sickness benefits who are looking to take their first steps in becoming their own boss.

The scheme, which began in 2011, is part of the Government’s long term economic plan to back enterprise and small business and has already seen people of all ages setting up at rapid rates.

More than 65,000 people across the country have received help in becoming self-employed through the scheme, including nearly 2,000 businesses every month thanks to the scheme.

Almost 5,000 young people, in excess of 12,000 disabled people, and more than 15,000 over-50s have also been helped to turn their hobbies into businesses.

Among the many start-ups have been Great British Bake Off-inspired cooking firms, an antiques and renovation business, a Bear Grylls-style boot camp weekend, and a former Gulf War veteran starting as business development consultant ‘Major Motivator’.

Family businesses have also been given a boost as changes from the start of 2015 have meant that anyone who is the partner of someone claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance can also be supported through NEA.  This extension also applied to more people on sickness benefits.

The scheme is administered by St Helens Chamber of Commerce and its chief executive Kath Boullen said:

“There are a lot of people with ambition and entrepreneurial spirit within Merseyside. We are very grateful that the drive and ambition of these people has been assisted by the volunteer mentors who give up their time to help these fledgling businesses thrive in their start-up period.”



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