If you are currently unemployed and interested in starting your own business, then you may be eligible for Steps to Work. You must contact your Jobs and Benefits Office regarding your eligibility and to gain a referral onto the programme.
Your Route to Self-Employment through STEPS TO WORK will take you through three phases:
The basic awareness session will usually last one half day. This is to ensure that participants do not have unrealistic expectations about their ability to succeed in self-employment.
Attendance at the Start a Business Programme (SABp) will involve eight evening’s attendance over a four week period, where you will receive support, mentoring and help to develop a business plan.
A period of test trading for up to 26 weeks, with the support and guidance of North City Business Centre. While test trading, those on JSA will receive a Benefit Based Training Allowance (equal to their rate of JSA) plus a weekly top-up. Income Support or Incapacity Benefit claimants will retain entitlement to any benefit in payment plus a weekly training premium. You may of course leave test trading at any time during this process to set up your own business or take a job.