The Rotary Club of Bolsover at their weekly meeting heard of an initiative that encourages and finances people who wish to set up their own business or enterprise.
The Derbyshire New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) Project is a partnership between business and the community and has been set up to deliver and support this government initiative.
Nicola Burton (programme manager) said: “The aim is that the NEA will give extra help to unemployed people who want to start their own business. Their services will be available to Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) customers
who are 18 years plus. This can provide a way for unemployed people to have their chance at earning their own income, paying their own tax and offering local services and products to local people.”
She went on to say: “This helps to regenerate deprived neighbourhoods as small businesses such as shops and local traders are often at the heart of the local economy as they live locally, spend locally and if their
businesses thrive, they employ other local people. They are also more likely to give others with less impressive CVs a chance at employment, helping to improve the overall economic viability of the area. Therefore helping
to set up one business can actually have a lasting legacy of helping various people.”
Participants will get access to a volunteer business mentor who will provide guidance and support as they develop their business plan over an eight-week period. Once a customer can demonstrate they have a viable business
proposition with the potential for growth in the future, they will be able to access further business and mentoring support. In addition, they will be eligible to receive financial support which will consist of a weekly allowance
worth £1,274 over 26 weeks, paid at £65 a week for the first 13 weeks and £33 a week for a further 13 weeks, and if they need start-up capital, they may also be able to access a loan up to £1,000 to help with their start-up
costs. The total package of support could be worth up to £2,274 to each participant who starts his or her own business.
Thanking the representatives from NEA for such a concise and informative presentation, the president of the Bolsover Rotary Club, Leigh Holland, said: “At the heart of the NEA scheme is the volunteer mentors who are providing
their time and expertise to support these budding entrepreneurs with their business ideas. The mentors (often Rotarians) participating in the scheme are finding that supporting these unemployed clients to set up their own business a very rewarding experience.”