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Self-employed: Government Assistance

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what additional funding has been allocated to the provision of self-employment support under the six month offer; (291649)

(2) what (a) grants and (b) other capital funding will be available to jobseekers taking up the offer of self-employment support under the Six Month Offer.

Under the Six Month Offer, there are two elements to the help on offer to people who want to move into self-employment or start a business. To provide financial support during the early weeks of trading, customers can claim a self-employment credit paid at a rate of £50 a week for up to 16 weeks. This is payable once the customer ceases claiming jobseeker's allowance and takes up self-employment.

We are also giving additional funds to Business Link Providers in England, Flexible Support for Business in Wales, and Training for Work in Scotland to provide intensive self-employment and business start-up support and advice for those who need it before they leave benefit. This help can extend into the first weeks of trading, if required.

The Six Month Offer does not provide capital grants to help with initial business start-up costs. However, as with any other person setting up a new business, those eligible for the Six Month Offer will be able to apply for the relevant grants that are available in each country. For example, in England, decisions about what business support is available in each region is decided by the regional development agencies. The full range of publicly funded support in England can be found in the Solutions for Business portfolio on the Business Link website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have received self- employment credit in each month since April 2009. (297355)

The information requested on the number of people who have received the self-employment credit is shown in the following table. The latest figures available are for July 2009.

2009

Number of people receiving self-employment credit

April

30

May

190

June

460

July

780

Notes:

1. Figures above 10 are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Months are calendar months.

Source:

DWP research at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/6month_offer.asp