If you’d like to start your own business but the bank isn’t listening, there are some alternatives, even if you’re on benefits.
The Start-Up Loans Company
This company offers loans of up to £25,000. To be eligible, you must have started your business but not been trading for more than 12 months.
Once approved, you’ll be assigned an experienced delivery partner who will help you build up a business plan and decide if you’ll receive funding. Visit startuploans.co.uk
New Enterprise Allowance
For those on benefits who want to start their own business, the government offers a loan to help with start-up costs and a weekly allowance of up to £1,246 paid over 26 weeks. The loan has to be paid back, but the allowance does not.
The minimum you can borrow under the New Enterprise Allowance is £500, but it can be up to £2,500 depending upon your eligibility.
The scheme doesn’t affect your housing benefit, tax credits, income tax or Access to Work grant. But you’ll receive the allowance instead of Jobseeker’s Allowance. You must be 18 or over, have a business plan and be receiving either Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support as a lone parent, or Employment and Support Allowance.
Ask a Jobcentre Plus adviser to refer you to the scheme, or visit gov.uk
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme
The Prince’s Trust provides loans of up to £4,000 with interest capped at 3%. It also offers training to help kick-start your business.
You must be aged between 18–30, unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours, with a strong business idea. If your application is successful you’ll be invited to an information session and go through several stages to develop your business idea before you can secure funding.
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