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New Start up Support for UK Disabled Entrepreneurs

  • Published: 2013-01-15 : U.K. DWP.
  • Synopsis: Disabled can now get support through Access to Work when setting up their own business if they are enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
Access to Work - An Access to Work grant is money for practical support to help you do your job. It is for people with a disability, health or mental health condition - only available in England, Scotland and Wales. Any money you get doesn't have to be paid back and won't affect your other benefits. The money you get can pay for things like: specialist equipment, travel when you can't use public transport, a communicator at a job interview. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

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New year - new start up support for disabled entrepreneurs - Budding disabled entrepreneurs will get extra support to start up their own business in 2013, Minister for Disabled People Esther McVey announced today.

Across the country, they will get support through Access to Work to pay for specialized equipment, support workers and travel costs when setting up their business.

The measure aims to further boost the number of disabled people who are self-employed, which is half a million people or 15 per cent of disabled people in work.

Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey said:

"If 2013 is the year aspiring disabled people want to set up a business - then Access to Work can help.

"We've opened up our flagship program so that disabled people have the same choice to start up their own business as everyone else - in every sector, from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between.

"Through this scheme I am determined to get more disabled people into mainstream jobs - the same as everyone else."

From 14 January, disabled people can get support through Access to Work when setting up their own business if they are enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA). The NEA provides expert coaching and financial support for jobseekers with a business idea.

Last year Access to Work helped over 30,000 disabled people keep or get jobs, with around 4,500 working in small businesses.

Research also shows that around half (45 per cent) of Access to Work customers would be out of work if they did not receive support through the scheme.

Half a million disabled people are self-employed, making up 15 per cent of all employed disabled people. This compares with 13 per cent, or 3.2m, of non-disabled people in self-employment.

Strong take up of the NEA scheme in its first year has seen more than 8,000 businesses set up by jobseekers across the country, including a mobile dog grooming business, a fine chocolate company and a tapas restaurant.

Access to Work is a disability employment program delivered by Jobcentre Plus.

The scheme is considered very cost effective - the Sayce Review described a net return to the Treasury of £1.48 for every £1.00 spent on the program. It is different from most other DWP programs in that it supports disabled people who are in work or about to start work to stay in work by funding either partially or fully the cost of necessary workplace adjustments that are above what the Equality Act would define as reasonable for an employer to pay.

The program provides grants direct to individual disabled people to reimburse them for approved costs, and is very flexible in order to meet individual needs.

To be eligible for the program a person must:

  • Have a disability or health condition that stops them from being able to do parts of the job
  • Have work-related costs because of the disability or health condition
  • Be 16 or over; and in a paid job; or unemployed and about to start a job; or unemployed and about to start a Jobcentre Plus Work Trial; or self-employed.

Types of support that can be provided under the program include:

  • Special Aids and Equipment
  • Support Workers
  • Travel to Work
  • Travel in Work
  • Communicator Support at Interview

Anyone interested in applying for this support, can search 'Access to Work ' at to find out details of our contact centers.

Related Information:

  1. UK Work Choice Program Provides Incentive for Hiring People with Disabilities - UK Work Choice program provides employers a payment up to £2275 when they employ a young disabled person - (Published 2012-07-31).
  2. Community Work for U.K. Long Term Unemployed - People in the U.K. who have been unemployed for more than two years could be referred onto compulsory community work placements - (Published 2011-11-15).
  3. Consultation into UK Disability Employment Services - The U.K. Government is launching a consultation into employment services for disabled people and seeking views on the recommendations - (Published 2011-07-11).

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