JOBSEEKERS keen to set up their own business in Kirklees can now get access to a raft of support as part of a new enterprise scheme.
West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency, an arm of the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, is leading delivery of the national scheme in West Yorkshire.
It is designed to give jobseekers with a viable business idea the financial support and professional advice they need to get their idea off the ground.
There are almost 2,000 places on the programme for people in West Yorkshire with more than 350 places going to the long-term unemployed in Kirklees.
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.
The agency is looking for business people to fill the role of business mentor and make a difference to someone who is about to take their first steps into self-employment.
Enterprise and marketing manager Melissa Healy said: “Setting-up on your own can be daunting, but having a business mentor to guide you can make a huge difference.
“Most business people will remember what it was like to start out alone and this is a great opportunity to share all that experience with someone who is new to it all.”
For the first 26 weeks of trading, participants continue to receive a weekly payment known as the New Enterprise Allowance to help take the financial pressure off while they make the shift into self-employment.
Before they can receive the allowance, 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.
Backing the initiative, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “We will only get our economy back on track when we create a climate in which the private sector can grow and develop, creating jobs and opportunities for people across the country.
“By expanding the New Enterprise Allowance, we can ensure that people in West Yorkshire who find themselves out of work but with a good idea get the right advice to turn that idea into a successful business venture.”
The agency is supporting participants in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and working with Bradford Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Yorkshire in Leeds.
Contact Melissa Healy on 01924 311608 or email email@example.com