A surge in jobless people starting their own business in Brighton and Hove has helped hundreds of people to leave the benefits system.
More than 200 businesses have been created in the area over the past three years by unemployed people taking advantage of the new enterprise allowance (NEA).
It helps people claiming jobseekers allowance to set up their own businesses through a mix of mentoring and loans.
Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that 210 people came off benefits as a result of the scheme from April 2011, when the scheme started, to last December.
Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce held an event earlier this year to thank members who had become mentors to those taking advantage of the scheme.
And it encouraged other members to consider becoming mentors – with support – to share their own experience and help others.
Kaye Crittell, if Let’s Do Business, the consultancy which operates the scheme locally, told chamber members that 331 new businesses had set up in Brighton and Hove. Not all succeeded but, of those, 197 were still trading after six months.
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