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Self-employment in Scotland

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How would you feel about being your own boss? 

Self-employment, whether you are thinking of setting up a new business, or buying an existing one, isn’t for everyone. It’s hard work and can be risky, but it can also be tremendously satisfying to be your own boss and see your dreams become a reality.

All you need now is a good idea, a sound business plan and the money to get started! 

Fortunately, a number of different organisations specialise in providing information, advice and practical support to those considering setting up in business for themselves.

In 2011, the Government launched the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), part of the Get Britain Working measures introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is aimed at over 18s who receive certain benefits. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus office for more information. NEA will include:

You can also apply for a loan of up to £25,000, subject to status, through the government funded scheme Start Up Loans. They also provide a number of support options to help with running a business.

In business, preparation and planning are essential so make sure you find out as much as you can before launching your new career.

Useful contacts

GOV.UK - details of the New Enterprise Allowance

Business Gateway – practical help, advice and support for new and growing businesses throughout Scotland. (Tel: 0300 013 4753)

Prince’s Trust – helps young people aged 11-30 to get into jobs, education and training and runs an Enterprise programme for unemployed people aged 18-30 to help them develop their own business. (Tel: 0800 842 842)

Shell Livewire – helps young people aged 16-30 start up their own business. (Tel: 0191 691 4900)

The British Franchise Association – for those interested in buying into a franchise where you trade under a brand name, such as Domino’s Pizza. They run franchise seminars in Scotland and the annual Scottish Franchise Week, usually April or May, which includes an exhibition. (Tel: 01235 820 470)

Young Enterprise Scotland – provides learning programmes for young people, 5-25, interested in enterprise, through schools, colleges and other institutions. (Tel: 0141 202 0650)

You may also be interested in attending New Start Scotland, a business event for people who are interested in starting up their own business. The event usually takes place in November at the SEC in Glasgow. For more information visit New Start's website. If you sign up early enough you may be able to get free tickets, or you can telephone 0800 157 7950.

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