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The Small Business Owner, The New Enterprise Allowance, and the many Hoops Through Which You Jump!

So, being a small business myself, that works with small and new employers it’s always good to see what help’s out there as they work and grow. And recently I came across this.

At first glance the New Enterprise Allowance seems like something that would give a little help to new businesses or entrepreneurs looking for a financial stepping stone from being unemployed to starting a business, and getting a level of turnover that provides a living wage.

But when you being to look more closely it’s not all you would wish for…

To qualify for the New Enterprise Allowance you have to be over 18. There are then two possible routes.

You either have a business idea and are in receipt of one of 3 benefits

or

you are already self-employed and work at least 16 hours per week in your business.

Sounds simple up to now, right? Well, maybe.

However, some areas of the country are going through changes and moving away from the traditional benefit process of Job Seekers Allowance, and moving over to Universal Credit. This is already causing chaos within the benefit system up and down the country and adding questions about New Enterprise Allowance into the mix causes puzzled expressions and lots of ‘I don’t know’ to come from the places that should have the answers.

I called the contact centre to see if I could get a greater understanding of the support available to small businesses, and I have to confess I am no wiser now than before. The amount of evidence required to support the work you do and your claim is huge, and on top of the work and time you’re putting into your business you may find it’s just a step too far for what amounts to around £1600.00 over 6 months.

And to top it all, should your business be more than 12 month’s old you may struggle to get any sort of support at all.

The links below will take you to the Gov.UK New Enterprise Allowance page, and a discussion on the experience of people at moneysavingexpert.com board.

From my call to the contact centre, and the experience of those I’ve spoken to, I don’t really hold out much hope for this new scheme being able to support the new generation of small businesses and entrepreneurs. However I’d love to be proved wrong. If you’ve had a great experience of NEA, let me know.

The link to the Gov.UK website can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/new-enterprise-allowance

And the moneysavingexpert.com discussion board can be found here:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5580821