Full Steam Ahead for New Enterprise Allowance Scheme

4th December 2012

When Inga Dirzuit became unemployed and found the process of looking for a new job unfruitful, she began to think about her lifelong love of cooking and the knowledge that she had gained about healthy eating and healing food remedies.

A business idea began to evolve and she decided to think about self-employment. She developed a number of healthy-option recipes and tried them out on friends and relatives, with excellent feedback about the quality and taste. She told her Jobcentre Plus advisor about what she was doing and was made aware that there was help available to research and develop a business idea through the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme. The scheme is a funded option for Jobseekers' Allowance claimants who want to start a business or who are considering self-employment. As well as receiving practical guidance and support, the scheme also provides a weekly in-work benefit for participants for the first 6 months that they're trading. Inga says: "I asked to be referred for the initial appointment with a SENTA advisor where I could discuss my idea and apply to participate in the scheme. Thankfully, the advisor saw the merits in my idea and accepted me onto the scheme. I was told all about the help that I could get and was advised about the possible benefits and pitfalls. Within a few days I had met my mentor for the first time and I began to see and discover new possibilities and ideas that I hadn't previously considered. My biggest fear was to write a business plan, but after attending the 4-day workshop that is available it all seemed so much easier. It was fantastic and very informative, and it helped to give me a better understanding about running a business. I'm not saying that planning and preparing to start my business was easy there was a lot of hard work involved but the help that I've received through the Enterprise Allowance Scheme has been fantastic. I am so grateful for all the help that I've had from Jobcentre Plus and from Sheffield Enterprise Agency. I don't think that I would have been able to achieve so much without the support that I've had from them and from my mentor support that I can still access if I need it." Inga's new vegan restaurant, Pure On Raw, is now open on Shalesmoor. Visit website here

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