Gateshead Council celebrates another New Enterprise Allowance milestone

The lead authority in the North East for the Government’s scheme have now helped more than 1,600 clients

National Enterprise Network (NEN) Member Gateshead Council became the lead authority in the North East for the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance scheme when it launched in January 2015. Since winning the contract, they have celebrated some great successes. After helping the very first business launch as part of the scheme, two years later they have now passed another big milestone. They have now helped over 3,500 clients access the scheme, which provides both financial and practical support as part of a 47 week programme. To date over 1,800 of these have started a business. There is further evidence of their ability to help their clients create sustainable businesses as over 1,200 businesses have continued to thrive past the 6 month point.

Sharon Nisbet is the 1,500th participant on NEA to commence trade. Sharon took voluntary redundancy in November 2015 with the view of starting her own business as a Dog Groomer. Sharon stated “redundancy gave me the opportunity to retrain and work in an industry I have a passion for”.

Urban Tails Grooming Studio is a Dog Grooming business; Sharon works from home and has converted her garage into a studio with its own entrance, completely set up independently from her main residence. Sharon has owned, bred and showed dogs for over 25 years, she completed a Dog Grooming Course with Marie Burns (Professional Dog Groomer) who won best in show at Crufts in March 2016.

Sharon said “my experience with dogs coupled with the skills I have developed training with Marie are making my business venture a success. There are other grooming services in the area, however they have limits to their opening times, are predominately shop-based with higher overhead costs.”

Since taking the step to retrain, using her redundancy money, Sharon has seen her business go from strength to strength.

Adam Clemerson, NEA Performance Manager at Gateshead Council commented “New Enterprise Allowance is a really important scheme for supporting unemployed people to enter self-employment. We’re really proud of what Gateshead Council and it’s delivery network of 12 enterprise agencies across the North East have achieved, but even more proud of every one of the people who have successfully established a new business. These individuals have been able to come off benefits and in many cases have also employed other people as their businesses have grown, contributing in a very real way to their local communities.”

Dawn Whiteley, Chief Executive of NEN offered her congratulations to Gateshead Council on achieving this latest milestone. “We’re delighted to see one of our Members achieve such great success with NEA, many of our members have been involved with the scheme since its outset and up and down they country they work hard with a wide range of clients, with a wide range of skills and experiences, to help them start their own sustainable businesses – long may that involvement continue as their efforts are clearly working if Gateshead’s achievement is anything to go by”.

Gateshead Council have a very strong history of providing this type of contract support, having previously supported 2,000 people during a similar scheme between 2011 and 2014 within Tyne and Wear in Northumberland. The current NEA contract sees the support being offered right across the whole of the North East.


Notes for Editors and contact details

Gateshead Council

Contact: Narinder Singh, Contract Director Tel: 0191 4332020

About New Enterprise Allowance

New Enterprise Allowance was set up by the Government to specifically help unemployed people with a business idea who are currently receiving benefits such as jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance or income support. Referred to select delivery partners by the Job Centre, once their business plan is approved, the business is launched and the owner receives 26 weekly payments along with support and advice. The weekly allowance doesn’t have to be paid back, but any additional loans do.

About National Enterprise Network

National Enterprise Network’s Mission is to represent, unite and support all organisations who are passionate about inspiring and encouraging enterprise. We support our membership by: Representing their interests to government and others in the public and private sector, showcasing a unique national network of credible, quality assured enterprise support organisations. Promoting the successes they achieve and demonstrating the value they add to local communities and the wider economy. Connecting them to people and projects inside and outside the Network, to share valuable knowledge, skills and opportunities for even greater success.

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