The UK Coalition Government has announced that twice as many unemployed people as previously planned will receive government funding to help them set up a business.
The new enterprise allowance will now be available for up to 40,000 new businesses by 2013, as the coalition seeks to boost the recovery by encouraging private-sector growth.
Under the terms of the allowance all those who persuade business experts that they have a feasible plan for a start-up will be eligible for the funding.
Whilst this is a non-devolved area, then one would assume that Wales should be targeting for at least five per cent of this support to support the long term unemployed here, especially within our more deprived communities.
This would mean an additional 2,000 businesses being created at a time when the number of Welsh entrepreneurs has been in decline although I would expect that our business support agencies could, with their experience and expertise in this area, get a higher share of the funding for Wales.
Certainly, it would be interesting to know what WAG is doing to ensure that this fits in with the existing entrepreneurship “strategy” it claims to have in place under the Economic Renewal Programme and maximises this support to ensure we make the most of this funding.