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Government scheme backs budding entrepreneurs
3:00pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Business News
A GOVERNMENT scheme, championed by Dragons’ Den star Levi Roots, is helping to create new businesses across the region.
Since its launch in 2011, the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) initiative claims to have created 26,000 new businesses, with around 2,000 new start-ups launched each month, ministers said.
Through the NEA, people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance can receive £1,274 paid over 26 weeks to help fund a start-up, as well as receive mentoring from established business leaders and access to a loan of up to £1,000.
One of them was lone parent Caroline Dixon from South Moor, near Stanley, County Durham.
Ms Dixon had been on benefits for 11 years before the NEA scheme helped her set up Linas nails, an acrylic nail shop.
She said: "Being self-employed gives me the flexibility to work around my children, it’s the perfect job for me. The scheme helped me so much, my mentor was supportive throughout the planning process and the weekly payments keep you going during the quiet weeks of the start-up period."
The NEA programme has seen a strong take up in parts of the North-East with 430 businesses being set up in County Durham; 200 in North Tyneside and 130 in Newcastle.
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