UK Politics

PM promises start-up business help for unemployed

David Cameron
Image caption David Cameron said thousands of jobs would be created this year

The government will provide more money to help unemployed people who want to set up their own companies, David Cameron has announced.

The prime minister said New Enterprise Allowance projects, offering start-up loans and weekly allowances, could create 40,000 businesses by 2013.

He predicted the next few years could be "some of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history".

The government has doubled the size of the planned scheme.

Under it, those who have been claiming unemployment benefits for more than six months will be offered up to £2,000 of financial support - including a start-up loan and a weekly allowance - as well as advice from a mentor with experience in business.

'Relentless'

Applicants will have to provide a business plan which is judged to be viable.

The programme will be launched later this month in Merseyside and rolled out nationwide by the autumn.

Mr Cameron said: "Throughout this year and beyond we will be focused relentlessly on supporting growth and driving job creation across our economy.

"Backing new enterprises to start up and small businesses to grow will be what transforms our economy and will deliver the many thousands of new jobs we will see created this year.

"It is vital that we ensure businesses, and those people who find themselves out of work but have the drive and desire to set up their own business, have all the advice, support and mentoring they need. Together we can make the years ahead some of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history."

Mr Cameron also announced that an overhaul of the government's online resources for business will be completed by April.

More than 170 publicly funded websites are being streamlined into a single site for business at www.businesslink.gov.uk