An £80 million fund offering financial help and specialist mentoring to people who have been unemployed for more than six months and want to start their own business is being launched by the Government.
Employment minister Chris Grayling will discuss details of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) when he meets business leaders on the day the latest jobless figures are published.
The scheme is aimed at supporting up to 40,000 new businesses over the next two years.
Mr Grayling said: "We are determined to do everything we can to boost enterprise. The New Enterprise Allowance is a really important part not just of helping the unemployed but also of encouraging a new generation of businesses that can themselves become employers.
"The scheme includes making sure that unemployed people with a good idea get the support they need to move into self-employment, and also that there is easily accessible advice and guidance for all kinds of new small businesses across the country. We want to see experienced businesses roll their sleeves up and give a helping hand to newer entrepreneurs."
Adam Marshall, director of policy and external affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Moving people out of unemployment isn't just good for Government - it's good for business too.
"The NEA is one important way in which companies, chambers of commerce and Government can work together to help people help themselves and to grow the local economy."
Figures being published later are expected to show that since the scheme was trialled in Merseyside earlier this year, hundreds of new businesses are trading in the area.
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