800 jobseekers launch businesses

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Eight hundred businesses have been set up in Sheffield under a Government scheme that helps unemployed people to set up - the second highest total in the country.

Only Liverpool beat the Steel City for start-ups under the new Enterprise Allowance Scheme, since its launch in April 2011 up to March 2014.

County Durham was third with 730 and Leeds was 4th with 610.

The scheme offers mentoring and financial support to people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, lone parents and people on sickness benefits.

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “The continuing success of Great Britain is built on the hard work and ingenuity of small businesses up and down the country, so it’s great that as part of the Government’s long-term economic plan we’ve been able to mentor 800 budding entrepreneurs in Sheffield to help make their dreams of becoming their own boss a reality.

“As the economy continues to grow this new generation of entrepreneurs may well go on to create the jobs of tomorrow, helping even more people to get off benefits and build a career.”

Tim Binns, managing director of Percy E Binns and Son, an estate agents based in Wath-on-Dearne, is an NEA mentor.

He said: “After running several successful businesses I thought I’d help others realise their own ambitions. Often, I’ve found jobseekers are brimming with a wealth of ideas and enthusiasm, but they can lack the basic business skills needed, particularly in cashflow management, marketing and sales.

“It has has been one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had in over 40 years. I would recommend it to other experienced business people.”