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New Enterprise Allowance

Volume 523: debated on Monday 14 February 2011

14. How many new businesses he expects to be created as a result of the new enterprise allowance in the first 12 months of its operation. (39816)

Over the first two years of its operation, the new enterprise allowance is due to support the start of around 40,000 new businesses. In its second year, we expect the majority of those start-ups to take place in the first few months, when the new enterprise allowance is being rolled out in those parts of the country that are particularly affected by unemployment.

The best way to deal with unemployment in my constituency is to build businesses, and I therefore welcome the introduction of the new enterprise allowance. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the allowance will provide unemployed people with mentoring, as well as financial support, to enable them to start their own businesses?

I can indeed confirm that. What makes the new enterprise allowance different from all its predecessor schemes is that it will offer people who are seeking to start new businesses specialist support from people who have been there and experienced enterprise. We want to see voluntary sector groups that already offer mentoring become part of the scheme, and we want experienced business people to come forward and become mentors, perhaps through their chambers of commerce. This could make a huge difference to getting people off benefits and into self-employment.