Scheme helps jobseekers get back into work

Kevin Paver set up his business Big Zoo Media through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.
Kevin Paver set up his business Big Zoo Media through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

Two thousand new businesses have been set up by jobseekers looking to turn their business dreams into reality.

The milestone has been reached three years after the New Enterprise Allowance scheme (NEA) was introduced, according to the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency.

The Government project give jobseekers financial support through the early months of running their company and pairs them up with a mentor who helps to draw up a business plan and

One of the companies backed by the scheme was Big Zoo Media, the brainchild of Kevin Paver.

Mr Paver, 38, joined the NEA project after he was made redundant in August last year.

The multi-media company helps businesses with animated videos, internal communications audio and social media strategies.

It is currently working on projects with Kirklees Council and Olympic gold medallist boxer Luke Campbell.

Mr Paver said: “The idea was floating around between myself and my business partner for some time but actually doing something about it is very difficult when you have a steady job, a mortgage and two young children.”

Mr Paver, who lives in Gomersal, said working with a mentor was crucial to helping his business thrive.

“We had quite a lot of work in the first three months and for a new business it was a little overwhelming,” he said.

“The mentor helped me get through that as well as with more serious things such as legal documents, insurance and figuring out if we were actually making any profit.”

West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency chief executive Martin Hathaway said: “Advisers and mentors have worked with hundreds of people since 2011 who have had the ambition to start their own businesses.

“We are proud to have reached the milestone of having 2,000 of these individuals turn their dream into reality.”