By Daniel Hunter
Budding disabled entrepreneurs will get extra support to start up their own business in 2013, Minister for Disabled People Esther McVey announced today (Monday).
Across the country, they will get support through Access to Work to pay for specialised equipment, support workers and travel costs when setting up their business.
The measure aims to further boost the number of disabled people who are self-employed, which is half a million people or 15 per cent of disabled people in work.
"If 2013 is the year aspiring disabled people want to set up a business — then Access to Work can help," Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey said.
"We’ve opened up our flagship programme so that disabled people have the same choice to start up their own business as everyone else - in every sector, from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between.
"Through this scheme I am determined to get more disabled people into mainstream jobs — the same as everyone else."
From 14 January, disabled people can get support through Access to Work when setting up their own business if they are enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA). The NEA provides expert coaching and financial support for jobseekers with a business idea.
Last year Access to Work helped over 30,000 disabled people keep or get jobs, with around 4,500 working in small businesses.
Research also shows that around half (45 per cent) of Access to Work customers would be out of work if they did not receive support through the scheme.
Half a million disabled people are self-employed, making up 15 per cent of all employed disabled people. This compares with 13 per cent, or 3.2m, of non-disabled people in self-employment.
Anyone interested in applying for this support, can search 'Access to Work' at www.gov.uk to find out details of our contact centres.
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