Enterprise Allowance Scheme

If you have a new idea and you're currently receiving certain benefits, Jobcentre Plus could provide you with the support and funding you need to start your own business

The New Enterprise Allowance is a scheme managed by Jobcentre Plus, which could provide you with support and funding to start your own business.


If you have a business idea and you’re receiving certain benefits, you could get support and funding from the New Enterprise Allowance scheme to help launch your business.

A specialist from Jobcentre Plus will assess your business idea and see if it has potential. If your idea is accepted, you’ll be signed up to the scheme and get a business mentor who’ll help you write a business plan and develop your idea.

You’ll be able to claim financial support if your business plan is approved and you start working at your business for 16 hours or more per week.

If your business plan is approved, you could:

  • Receive a weekly allowance, paid for up to 26 weeks (up to a total of £1,274)
  • Apply for a loan to help with start-up costs.

Any money you get doesn’t affect your housing benefit, tax credits, income tax or Access to Work grant.

Am I eligible?

You need to be receiving one of the following benefits in order to apply:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support as a lone parent
  • Employment and Support Allowance, if you’re in the work-related activity group.
  • You won’t qualify if you’re part of the Work Programme.

How to apply

You can find information on the Department for Work and Pensions website.

When you're ready to apply, contact your local Jobcentre Plus where your advisor will guide you through the process. Find your local Jobcentre.

Alternatively, speak to us and we can advise.

Get in touch for advice or support

Get in touch with our Business Support Service and we can help you find the right support for your business needs. You can call us on 0113 348 1818 or email us for more information.