Suffolk: Jobseekers showing plenty of enterprise

ABOUT 140 people who were looking for work in Suffolk have instead taken advantage of a Government scheme aimed at helping them set up a business.

The New Enterprise Allowance involves jobseekers aged 18 or over being offered mentoring to develop a business plan. If it is viable they are then offered a weekly allowance worth �1,274 over 26 weeks, plus access to a �1,000 loan to set up their firm.

Between August 2011 and May this year in the East of England 1,170 people started with a mentor, with 420 then going on to set up a business.

Meanwhile, in Suffolk, 140 began working with a mentor, while 50 went on to set up a business – ten each in Ipswich, Babergh, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney.

Lowestoft-based Lynne Hayton used the scheme to set up her buffet and cake-making business, Yummy Cakes and More, after being made redundant from her social work position.

The 58-year-old said: “I had done cake-making previously, 16 or 17 years ago when I lived in London.

“Decorating cakes was a hobby that I made a little money from on the side, but the New Enterprise Allowance helped me really focus and build up a business around it.

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“I had to write a plan and there was someone there to help me do that and advise me, someone that I could contact when I needed to.

“Running your own business is good because you have a lot of control over all of the elements of your work. You have control over your future and can make more or less of it as you want.”

The entrepreneur is in the process of creating her new website and will be looking to advertise online to create more awareness of her business.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban announced last month that the successful take-up of the scheme around the country meant the Government would increase the number of places available nationally by 33,000.

He said: “This can-do attitude is inspiring, and I hope to see many more jobseekers across the country taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the New Enterprise Allowance.

“Through this scheme we are backing those hard-working jobseekers with the imagination and determination to make a success of their business.

“If you are prepared to work hard and aspire to achieve more, this government, through schemes like the Enterprise Allowance, will back you.”

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the scheme should ask at their local Jobcentre Plus.

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