Some 700 unemployed people in South Yorkshire have come off benefits after setting up their own businesses.
Since 2011, jobseekers have made use of a government New Enterprise Allowance grant which backs small businesses and helps get people back into work.
One person who has benefited is Kelly Redhead, aged 23, who graduated with a first class masters degree in fashion design last year.
With help from her JobCentre Plus adviser, the Sheffielder launched KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer, a wedding and occasion-wear service.
She said: “Through my degree I learned my craft but the advice I received about starting a business, writing a business plan, budgeting and cash-flow forecasts was invaluable.
“It ensured I was fully prepared for starting a business and the possible challenges I faced in the future.
“The scheme offers financial support but most importantly it supports you along the way.”
n Find out more about the NEA at your local Jobcentre Plus.