Thousands of unemployed people across the North West have stopped claiming benefits after setting up their own business using Government support. The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) has helped create 860 new businesses in Liverpool, 430 in Manchester and 250 in Warrington.

Since its launch in 2011, as part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to back small businesses and help people into work, the NEA has created 40,240 new businesses across Britain – that’s around 2,000 people every month in the last year helped to get off benefits and set up on their own.

The New Enterprise Allowance offers expert mentoring and financial support to people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, lone parents and people on sickness benefits who want to start up their own business, which Minister for Employment Esther McVey has heralded as creating a new enterprise generation.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am determined to do all I can to support the British economy and that includes helping small businesses and budding entrepreneurs to get on.

“In the last two years we have helped tens of thousands of people to turn their ideas into a viable business through the New Enterprise Allowance and I am delighted that so many people across the North West have benefited.

“My message is simple: if you have drive, determination and are prepared to work hard, we will back you – that is part of our long-term economic plan to ensure a better and more financially secure future for Britain, for hardworking people and their families.”

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “Small businesses are the heartbeat of the continuing success of the country, so it’s great that tens of thousands of budding entrepreneurs have been helped to make their dreams of becoming their own boss a reality.

“As the economy continues to grow this new enterprise generation may well go on to become the employers of the future, which is great for the individuals and their families, but it is also good news for the country as well.

“It’s particularly welcome that so many women have started their own business through NEA. This shows the benefit of having an expert mentor, and I’d like to encourage more business experts, especially women, to sign up to help the next generation of entrepreneurs secure their future.”

This week's figures also show that the scheme helps people of all ages, with 9,260 businesses started by people aged 50 and over, and 2,910 young people also becoming their own boss. 7,420 disabled people have also set up in business thanks to the New Enterprise Allowance. The New Enterprise Allowance is available to people over 18 who are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, lone parents on Income Support, or people on Employment and Support Allowance in the work-related activity group.

People on the scheme get expert help and advice from a business mentor who will help them to develop their business idea and write a business plan. If the business plan is approved, they are eligible for financial support payable through a weekly allowance over 26 weeks up to a total of £1,274. Participants can also access a loan through the BIS start-up loan scheme.

Mentors also continue to give the budding entrepreneurs on-going support during the early months of trading.