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Business boost for those on benefits

A revolutionary scheme is offering unemployed people in South Tyneside and Sunderland the opportunity to start their own business while continuing to receive benefits. The programme, run by TEDCO (The Tyneside Economic Development Company Ltd) and the BIC (Business Innovation Centre), gives help, knowledge and guidance to allow unemployed people with a viable business idea into sustainable self-employment.

So far 19 people have begun test trading whilst on benefits, running businesses ranging from a florist, and a wedding boutique to painter and decorators and a training services provider. Another 38 people are working towards test trading out of a target of 90 by the end of the project. TEDCO’s and the BIC’s business advisers take those on the programme through every stage of starting their business, offering guidance and one-on-one support.

Wayne Hayes, Project Manager, said: “This is the first project of its type in the area to provide established business support to clients whilst enabling them to claim benefits. For many, the move into self employment is a big step. With the South Tyneside and Sunderland Self Employment Project we are able to provide a certain level of comfort during the first 26 weeks of a new business.”

The project is co-funded by the European Social Fund and Job Centre Plus. If you would like to find out more about starting your own business in South Tyneside, please contact TEDCO on 0191 428 3469 or email jhind. Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about the project in Sunderland, please contact the Business Innovation Centre on 0191 516 6111 or email kathryn.oliver.

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