Make sure the new Enterprise Allowance Scheme can be used by groups and not just individuals

Further to this post about measures being introduced by BIS to support business growth, there has been some discussion amongst members of  the Co-operativesUK group on Linkedin here (if you can use that link without being a Linkedin member/user — I’m not sure) about the importance of groups of people who may wish to start or join mutually-owned businesses not being inadvertently excluded from the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

This is significant because we know that the weekly allowance plus proposed £1,000 grant can be instrumental in helping people start businesses. The last time such a scheme ran — in the 1980s: many will remember it — it was widely viewed with cynicism at the time but in retrospect did enable many to launch businesses and careers which are still thriving today.

SEC jointly with Co-operativesUK has issued a briefing on making the new scheme social enterprise-friendly and you can download that here.

BSSEC has also written to the secretary of state  for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, to voice its support for the measures proposed by SEC/Co-operativesUK and also to welcome the scheme and emphasise that it must be amenable for use by those seeking to start or join mutually-owned enterprises. Download our letter here.

Why not add your voice? Use either SEC’s briefing or our letter to do something of your own.

I think it’s really useful for the sector to be putting a marker down in support of this scheme — let’s face it, with things the way they are, it may be the one bit of good news for those wanting to start new social enterprises!

  1. Jon Danzig Reply

    The new Enterprise Allowance Scheme will only work if it comes with high quality training. That’s how the old scheme was successful, not so much because of the £40 a week allowance, but because those interested in becoming self-employed obtained comprehensive training by the UK’s 82 Training and Enterprise Councils – which sadly no longer exist.

    In the 1990s I produced video films that promoted and explained the original Enterprise Allowance Scheme. They were shown at Job Centres across the country and featured successful businesses started by people who had previously been unemployed. I believe the scheme was an innovative way to encourage and assist self-employment as a viable alternative to unemployment. My Enterprise Allowance videos can now be freely viewed on my YouTube channel:

  2. Louise Alker Reply

    I have been accepted on this new enterprise here in Liverpool.I have so far been waiting 5 weeks for a mentor.There is no start up grant in any shape or form.I do not think people are aware of this fact.You get £64 wkly for the first 16 weeks and £33 wkly for the remaining 16 weeks.You can ask for a £1000 loan.
    How you can pay a £1000 loan back,house-hold bills and start up a business on £64 is beyond me.I think if this were possible there would be no unemployed we would all be self employed.
    It is a joke and the government that came up with this stupid idea is a joke also.

    • Alun Severn Reply

      Louise, Thanks for your heartfelt comment. That the scheme doesn’t have in place sufficient resources to make it work properly is perhaps not surprising in the current circumstances….

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