To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets there are on increasing the number of women receiving the new enterprise allowance; and what progress has been made on these targets in the last year.
There are no formal targets in place for increasing the number of women who participate in the New Enterprise Allowance scheme. Latest statistics show that since the launch of NEA in 2011 to the end of March 2014, there were 46,000 allowance claims, of which 15,720 were from women. The weekly allowance is payable when the participant closes their claim to benefits and commences trading. The rate of take up of NEA by women is approximately one third of the total. This is consistent with the proportion of women claiming jobseeker's allowance (the benefit claimed by the majority of NEA participants), demonstrating the success of the scheme in attracting all groups to access this support.