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

Woman looking down at iPad and smiling

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.

On the website you can take a look 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.

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 are a lone parent or have a disability or health condition

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, contact your work coach through your Universal Credit online account.

If you’re receiving Universal Credit, it can continue to support you if you set up your own business. If you’re regarded as being gainfully self-employed you will not be expected to look, or be available, for other work. This will help you to concentrate on making your business a success.

Read more about Universal Credit and self-employment.

If you’re disabled or you have a health condition

You may be able to get extra support through an Access to Work grant. For more information visit the website.

You can read more about NEA on the website.