Help for new business start-ups

UNEMPLOYED people considering setting up their own business are being helped by the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency.

A new scheme is designed to provide financial support and professional advice to get ideas off the ground.

There are almost 2,000 places on the West Yorkshire programme with nearly 200 going to the long-term unemployed in Calderdale.

Those joining the programme will be allocated a volunteer business mentor who will share their first-hand experience of running a business and prepare them for trading. For the first 26 weeks of trading participants continue to receive a weekly payment known as the “New Enterprise Allowance” to take the financial pressure off while they make the shift into self-employment. Participants must prepare a business plan with the help of their mentor and access to local group mentoring sessions.

The business plan is intended to help participants structure their idea in a recognised format but they can also use it to apply for a loan of up to £1,000 for their new business.