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Wednesday, 3 October 2023


If you have a good business idea, working for yourself can be very rewarding, but it can take a lot of hard work and dedication. If you want to become self-employed, find out about the free help and support available, and whether you qualify for the New Enterprise Allowance.

Getting started with your business idea

Get the 'Thinking of being your own boss?' leaflet

There are lots of good reasons for wanting to work for yourself, like:

  • having a great idea or passion that could be turned into profits
  • wanting to work from home to fit in better with family commitments
  • wanting to take more control of your life and be your own boss

If you get it right, being self-employed can be exciting, rewarding and challenging.

Information and support for new businesses

If you want to become self-employed, there is plenty of free information, advice and practical support available for you. You can get help with topics like:

  • how to plan a business
  • how to raise finance
  • how to make sure you have enough to live on while you get your business off the ground

Support is available for both new and existing businesses, and can help you meet all the legal and financial requirements of being self-employed.

Business Link, Business Gateway and Business support Wales

You can find information, advice and support to help you start, maintain and develop your business from the following places:

  • England - Business Link
  • Scotland - Business Gateway
  • Wales - Business support Wales

What other help is available

General help and advice is available from Business Link, Business Gateway and Business support Wales. Additional support is also available for jobseekers through Jobcentre Plus.

New Enterprise Allowance

The New Enterprise Allowance helps unemployed people who want to start their own business. Practical mentoring support is available to people who have been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for three months or more. Financial support of up to around £2,000 is available for people who have been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for six months or more.

A Start-up Loan

If you are interested in starting your own business you might be able to get a Start-up Loan if you:

  • are aged 18-24
  • live in England
  • are not getting New Enterprise Allowance

You can get expert support to help develop a business plan and access training. If your business plan is approved, you will be able to get a Start-up Loan, usually in the region of £2,500. You will pay the loan back over a period of up to five years.

Enterprise Clubs

Help may also be available through Enterprise Clubs. Enterprise Clubs will provide unemployed people interested in self-employment with a place to:

  • meet and exchange skills
  • make contacts
  • share experiences
  • receive support
  • encourage each other to work through their business ideas

Further information

Talk to your Jobcentre Plus personal adviser for more information about the New Enterprise Allowance or Enterprise Clubs.

Further help and advice

If you're considering being your own boss for the first time, Jobcentre Plus has produced some useful hints and tips to help you decide. You can download the Jobcentre Plus 'Thinking of being your own boss?' factsheet below.

Provided by Jobcentre Plus

Additional links

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