The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme was launched by the Department of Work and Pensions (DoWP), in January 2015, to encourage and assist those who have been unemployed for not longer than 12 months to start their own businesses. The scheme is being delivered, across Somerset, by the Enterprise Agencies, Somerset Business Agency (SBA) and Business Information Point (BIP) respectively.
Applicants who are accepted on the programme are given a period of 8 weeks to prepare their business and financial plans under the guidance of a business mentor. Cornerstone is working closely with the Enterprise Agencies, and local Job Centres, to provide this mentoring service.
Cornerstone has already mentored 17 NEA clients over the first 6 weeks of the scheme and we are greatly impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the emergent entrepreneurs. Many of the business plans are well conceived and researched from the outset, and look likely to succeed. The first signs are that this initiative really will help to enable unemployed people with the right energy and commitment to start potentially successful businesses.
Consequently this is a particularly useful form of business mentoring that is proving to be very satisfying for both the clients and the mentors. Cornerstone is proud to be able to contribute.
David Lewis, Director Cornerstone Business Mentoring