A national enterprise scheme that helps jobseekers to set-up their own business has been extended for a further 15 months as part of a range of Government measures to help British businesses.
Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement at a Downing Street reception for British entrepreneurs in September. The £69m package of support and finance to help new business start-ups includes an extension to the New Enterprise Allowance scheme until December 2014.
West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency – a subsidiary of Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce - has been delivering the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme in West Yorkshire since August 2011 and has already helped over 3,000 participants with their business ideas.
Over 1,200 entrepreneurs have started new businesses with 48% of them well beyond their first six months of trading.
Executive Director, Andrew Choi said: "After winning the competitive tendering exercise to deliver the Scheme in West Yorkshire we are delighted that our hard work, alongside the rest of the UK delivery network and Jobcentre Plus, has been recognised and rewarded with a 15 months extension. We shall be working tirelessly to ensure that the Prime Minister’s goal of creating tens of thousands of new small businesses in the UK will be realised."
The scheme provides start-up advice, guidance and funding to unemployed would-be entrepreneurs and is effective because of the role played by mentors from the local business community who volunteer time and expertise to help these start-ups get off the ground and succeed.
Andrew Choi added: "I cannot thank our mentors enough for the support they have put into the scheme, which is invaluable to everyone that is trying to get their business going. These local business people, who have all been there and done it themselves, have been so supportive in passing on their experience, and enthusiasm and we could not have helped create so many new start-ups in West Yorkshire without them."
To find out more about becoming a mentor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.