Bring back Enterprise Allowance Scheme, urges report

Margaret Thatcher’s enterprise scheme for the creative industries should be brought back, according to a new report published by New Deal of the Mind in collaboration with the Arts Council.

Do It Yourself: Cultural and Creative Self-employment in Hard Times examines the impact of the recession on employment in the creative sectors. It calls for an enterprise allowance scheme similar to the one launched by Margaret Thatcher in 1983, which gave people a weekly allowance for a year to come off the dole and set up their own businesses.

The report highlights that the Government’s £1bn Future Jobs Fund is not open to freelances, who together account for an estimated 70 per cent of the creative industries.

‘Giving people money to be more enterprising is a good idea in principle,’ says Nick Ramshaw, president of the Design Business Association. ‘But you can’t encourage people to be creative with just money alone. They should deliver skills and personal support plans to help them.’ 

Martin Bright, founder of New Deal of the Mind and author of the report, agrees with Ramshaw. ‘The young people we spoke to said that they are not getting enough skills support from Jobcentre Plus, so we propose giving them business advice as part of the scheme so they can help themselves,’ he says.

The report is available to download from

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  • Frank Peters November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Many in the design sector would also like to see brought back from the same era; the Design Advisory Service funded consultancy scheme whereby businesses received funding for 2 days design consultancy cost, and a post of Minister for Design as held by John Butcher MP.

  • Charlotte Delmonte November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    And what about the people who aren’t aged 18-24…

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