If you’re unemployed and thinking of becoming self-employed, you might be worried about how you’re going to fare in your first months of trading. Your new business might not generate income immediately, After all, all new ventures need time to take off. Yet as soon as you open for business, you’ll no longer receive unemployment benefit or income support. And even if you’re unemployed and not receiving benefit or support, you might still be worried about those first few months. What you need is.. ..a Kickstart. And it comes in the form of Enterprise Allowance. If you qualify, you’ll receive an allowance.. ..and free business training.. “To begin with, you need an idea..” ..counselling and support. “As we start developing the marketing plan for your business,” “I’m sure we’ll be able to identify some of the possibilities” “that are open to you…” It’s a Kickstart which has already helped 1,000s of new businesses get off the ground.. “I’d been unemployed for about three months,” “I’d always loved tennis and had thought of developing” “this interest into a business. Through the practical help and “advice of the Enterprise Allowance, I was able to get started.” “They helped me to draw up this 12-page business plan,” “which helped me to focus my ideas and to secure a bank loan.” “The business is really going well.” “I was unemployed, previously a secretary.” “I wanted to start up my own mobile hair dressing business.” “The Enterprise Allowance helped me not only financially,” “but also with my business skills.” “I think it’s a great idea.” “I was out of work for 2 years,” “and because of my age, I couldn’t get a job.” “So, I thought, I’ll go for it,” “I’ll start my own butcher’s business. Which I did.” “And with the help of the Enterprise Allowance,” “it got me over a very sticky early period,” “and I’m now doing very well.” “After graduating from a 2-year furniture design course,” “I found myself unemployed for 6 months.” “I spoke to the Enterprise Allowance people,” “and with their help, I’ve been able to set up in business.” “3 months on I’m doing pretty well, and in fact I’ve just received, “a large order for a set of contemporary dining chairs.” Enterprise Allowance is financed by the government and managed by Lincolnshire Training and Enterprise Council. It’s specifically designed to help people who are unemployed to become self-employed. To qualify, you need to meet various conditions. “I’m unemployed, but I’m not receiving any benefit.” “Do I qualify?” Yes. You could qualify for the Allowance. You don’t need to be receiving unemployment benefit or income support. “I’ve been unemployed for a couple of months now.” “Do I qualify?” Yes. Those who have been unemployed for a minimum of 6 weeks can qualify for the Allowance. “La, la, la, de la la.” “I’m employed right now, but I’m thinking” “of starting my own business. Do I qualify?” No! But keep watching. There might be something for you at the end. The most important qualifying requirement for the Allowance is that you’ll need a viable business plan. A business proposition that’s likely to work. It’ll be assessed by an independent counsellor, who’ll help you to see the strengths and weaknesses of your new enterprise. “One thing I think we can say is that it’s got” “a very novel name. Hang It All picture framing services.” “How did you arrive at that name?” There are some other vital conditions. Your proposed self-employment must be genuine. That means you’ll be your own boss, with freedom to choose who you work for, how, when and where. Your business must be new, And it must not have started trading before you’ve been accepted for the Allowance. It’s also important that your new business is locally based. If it isn’t, you’ll need to apply to a different Training and Enterprise Council. There are 82 of them throughout the country. You’ll need to show that you have the finances available to support your business venture, as shown in your business plan and cash flow. And you’ll need to open a separate bank account for your business. Your new business must operate within the law, and be suitable for public support. And you must also be prepared to work full time in your new business. New limited companies, partnerships or co-operatives can be accepted for the Allowance, so long as at least half the owners qualify. All the rules and conditions for the Allowance and how to apply are more fully explained in a leaflet from Lincolnshire Training and Enterprise Council. As part of your application for the Allowance, you should attend a training course on how to set up and run your new business. “I now need to work out how many hours per week” “I’ve got to work to re-pay all this money.” Research has shown that the more advice and training you receive at the beginning, the more chance your business will have of lasting longer than a year. But if you don’t qualify for the Allowance, it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start your new business. After all, if you’ve got a good business idea, and the determination to succeed, the lack of an allowance ought not to deter you. Some of our greatest business pioneers started off with a lot less, and ended up with a lot more. The good news is that whether you qualify for the Allowance or not, you’re still entitled to free counselling and free training, to help create and run your new enterprise. And that in itself, could be worth more than money.