New scheme helps start-ups

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AN estimated 8,200 entrepreneurs across the south east have reportedly opened a business with help from the New Enterprise Allowance.

The NEA is a scheme that helps jobseekers make their business idea a reality.

Successful applicants to the NEA scheme receive a business mentor, financial support for up to six months and the chance to apply for a loan worth up to £25,000 towards start-up costs.

The highest number of start-ups is recorded in the south east. There were 180 in Portsmouth, which compares, to 700 in the Brighton and Hove area, 440 in the Isle of Wight and 380 in Medway. Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of the individuals launching a business were aged between 25 and 49.

Around 40 per cent of the total figure were women and 22 per cent of individuals have a self-declared disability.