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New Enterprise Allowance 


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The New Enterprise Allowance programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund


The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is one of the flagship policies by which the government hopes to help jobseekers to plan, develop and start their own business. But what does the NEA consist of and can you benefit from it?

What is the New Enterprise Allowance?

The New Enterprise Allowance is a support scheme aimed at potential entrepreneurs aged 18 and over and is currently linked to Jobseeker’s Allowance. It was created by the government to provide financial support and practical advice to individuals who wish to set up their own business and is part funded by the European Social Fund. It consists of a combination of business mentoring, a weekly allowance, and a business loan. As of 2016, the NEA is also available to lone parents receiving Income Support as well as Employment and Support Allowance claimants in the Work Related Activity Group. Once you join the scheme, you will be assigned a business mentor who will help you to put together your business plan, and support you in turning your business idea into a reality. Your mentor will stay with you, providing ongoing assistance for up to 52 weeks. When your business plan has been approved, you will be given access to financial support. This comes in the form of a weekly allowance and a start-up loan facility. 


How much could I claim?

The NEA weekly allowance is £65 per week for the first 13 weeks and £33 per week for the second 13 weeks. The allowance is paid for a total of 26 weeks. There is also the option to take out a start-up loan. Whereas the loan must be paid back, the allowance doesn’t. It is also important to note that any money you do receive from the NEA will not affect your Housing Benefit, tax credits, Income Tax, Universal Credit or Access to Work grant. 


Do I have to stop my Jobseeker’s Allowance?

You can remain in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance while you develop your business idea with your business mentor. However, you cannot claim the allowance or apply for the loan until you stop your benefit claim. 


What if I am self-employed and receiving Unviersal Credit?

If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit, you may be able to:

  • Get help to increase your earnings by developing a business development and growth plan
  • Apply for a Start-up Loan if your business is less than 2 years old
  • Get ongoing mentoring support for up to 52 weeks to help grow your business

How do I apply?

Applications for NEA can be made through PNE Enterprise by calling 0191 230 6410 or by emailing

Alternatively, you can apply for NEA through your local JobCentre Plus by talking to your JobCentre Work Coach.


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