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Want to be your own boss? The New Enterprise Allowance could help.

With support from New Enterprise Allowance Razan set up Yorkshire Dama Cheese. Three years later she is an award-winning entrepreneur with a rapidly expanding business. Filmed prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ever fancied striking out and setting up your own company? You could get mentoring and an allowance to help you get things going through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA).

You’ll need to be receiving certain benefits and have a business idea that could work.

Take a look (external link) at the inspiring journeys of other budding entrepreneurs going from being out of work to becoming their own boss with the support of NEA.

Get started with NEA

Speak to your Jobcentre Plus work coach – they will explain how NEA could help you. They will also tell you about the support that volunteer business mentors offer in the early months of trading. You can also get in touch with your local NEA provider direct.  

Who’s eligible?

You may be eligible if you’re over 18 and either:

  • You or your partner get Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • You get Income Support and you’re a lone parent, sick or disabled

What you’ll get

You’ll get a mentor who’ll give you advice and support to help you set up your business and start to trade.

Once you’ve made a business plan that your mentor has approved, you:

  • May get a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks
  • Can apply for a loan to help with start-up costs


To check if you’re eligible for New Enterprise Allowance, speak to your work coach (external link) or contact them by signing in to your Universal Credit account.

You can contact your local NEA provider direct if you want to find out more. They’ll also check whether you are eligible:

  Area   Contact
Birmingham and Solihull/Black Country Email
or call 07881 918235    
East Anglia/Leicestershire and Northamptonshire/Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland   Email
or call 07738 444141
Mercia/Midland shires Email
or call 07733 261682  
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire/Essex/Kent Email 
or call 07850 775038  
East London/South London Email 
or call 07534 214136  
North London/West London Email
or call 07850 774663  
Durham and Tees Valley/Northumberland, Tyne and Wear   Email
or call 0191 433 2852
South Yorkshire/North and East Yorkshire and the Humber/West Yorkshire   Email
or call 07710 308151  
Cumbria and Lancashire/Merseyside   Email
or call 0845 226 0040  
Greater Manchester/Cheshire Email
or call 07970 382603  
Scotland Email
or call 07595 088472  
Devon, Cornwall and Somerset/Avon, Severn, Thames   Email
or call 07971 513517
Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex/Dorset, Wiltshire. Hampshire & OIW Email
or call 07872 450490
Wales Email
or call 07484 524583  

If you’re disabled or you have a health condition

You may be able to get extra support through an Access to Work (external link) grant.

You can read more about NEA (external link) at