Doncaster’s ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ praised

Dan Fell
Dan Fell

Benefits claimants in Doncaster are among the most entrepreneurial in the country.

New figures revealed the government’s New Enterprise Allowance, which helps job seekers set up their own business, has helped create 570 start-ups in Doncaster.

The town is tenth in the list of top areas, Sheffield is placed third with 970 and Liverpool is top with 1,140.

Doncaster’s business leaders welcomed the news and said such schemes were vital for addressing the economic downturn.

Dan Fell, chief executive officer of Doncaster Chamber, said: “Doncaster Chamber has supported, on average, several hundred entrepreneurs into self-employment each year for approximately two decades. It is therefore no surprise to us to see that entrepreneurial spirit in Doncaster is alive and well.

“It is important, going forward, that residents and communities in places like Doncaster can access high quality business start-up support as, entrepreneurship is – along with other interventions such as inward investment and training and development – is one of several levers that need to be pulled to support economic growth.

“The chamber has, historically, delivered under the NEA initiative and has consistently been a top 10 performer in the UK on this contract.

“I would, therefore, urge anybody interested in starting a new business venture in the New Year to contact the chamber to see how we can help turn their dreams and aspirations into reality.”

Councillor Glyn Jones, deputy mayor of Doncaster, added: “We have some major regeneration projects underway like the Finningley And Rossington Regeneration Scheme link road and big name companies located here but individuals starting businesses in the town are a key part of our growing local economy.

“Doncaster’s inclusion in the top ten is a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of local people.”

The NEA gives people a mentor to help develop their business plan and if it is approved, they are eligible for financial support payable through a weekly allowance over 26 weeks up to a total of £1,274.

More than 29,000 people are estimated to have benefited from the scheme nationwide.

It is being extended this year to give family businesses a boost as the partners of anyone who is claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance will be able to apply along with those on sickness benefits.

Esther McVey, employment minister, said: “Small businesses are what make this country great – with their hard work, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.”