The Recovery Writer

Documenting The Road To A Recovered Life.

The New Enterprise Allowance – The Official Go Ahead

The new enterprise allowance official referral

I am pleasantly surprised at the speed of progression since I began to explore The New Enterprise Allowance. Directly after attending the NEA introductory workshop, I asked for an official referral. I had expected to wait a while for an appointment because it was so close to Christmas. Surprisingly I was offered a meeting for the following week, the 5th of December.

Preparing For The Initial Meeting

Although I was happy to receive an appointment date so soon, I had hoped for more time to prepare my business plan. My UC advisor said that it wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to make a good impression. I needed to demonstrate to Pinnacle People, who oversee the NEA, that I had a sound business idea. Because without their agreement, I could not be officially accepted onto the New Enterprise Allowance. Having attended the Eastbourne Commerce business start-up course in the summer. I used the template from that to draw up the first draft of a business plan.

First Meeting With A New Enterprise Allowance Mentor

I was more anxious at this meeting than I was at the last one! The importance of it and the fact that I would be meeting one to one, heightened my nerves. I was glad to have the business plan because my anxiety can make it difficult for me to answer questions. When anxious, I often stutter and get flustered in conversations. I find it easier to speak interrupted and have someone listen! Having a draft of my business plan prepared meant I could refer to it for help when asked questions about my business idea.

Receiving positive feedback

I was soon put at ease as it was clear from the onset that the mentor, Adrian, was as excited about my business plan as I am! Adrian was covering for someone who was away. He said that he really wanted to work with me on my business idea so was secretly hoping that his colleague didn’t return! That gave me a fantastic confidence boost!

Next Steps

Adrian said he wanted me to get going with my business as quickly as possible. He explained that the next step would be the official referral onto the New Enterprise Allowance. I would then attend the first seminar, which involved detailed guidance, on how to draw up a business plan to NEA standards. Over the following twelve months, further seminars would follow, on various aspects of running a business. I would also be able to meet with my mentor, to have one to one advice on any issues that arose or for additional support.

Offical confirmation of acceptance onto the New Enterprise Allowance

On returning home after the meeting, I received an email from Pinnacle people. The email contained official confirmation of my acceptance onto the New Enterprise Allowance! I wasn’t expecting to hear that quickly! A couple of days later, I received an email from Adrian, for a date to attend my first seminar. He also advised that I register as self-employed and obtain a unique tax reference numbr (UTR). I have now done this, which means I am officially self employed!

The next step is to attend the first NEA seminar, on how to construct the business plan to the NEA standards. In the meantime, I am getting this show on the road!

Finlay Games is the founder of The Recovery Writer and the host of Finntheinfinncible. He is a freelance writer and speaker for hire, who advocates, informs and inspires on topics of mental health, recovery, gender transition, and sexuality.


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  1. Juelda

    I am so proud of you, for all the hard work, for stepping out of your comfort zone, and I believe you will make such a positive difference in all the lives you touch! Well done young man!! Squidges.

  2. Max Hopper

    Congrats! I’m so glad for you!!

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