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Welsh support scheme helps 1,100 unemployed people to start their own business

14 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Sami Gibson set up her business Roots with support from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service. Picture: Welsh Government.

More than 1,100 unemployed people facing hidden barriers to entering the labour market have been helped to start their own business thanks to a Welsh Government grant scheme.

They include unemployed single mum Sami Gibson, who was determined to build a better life for herself and her child.

Sami had dreams of setting up her own business but faced several barriers – she had no laptop or internet connectivity and was living in a remote rural location.

Thanks to a Business Wales service Barriers to Start Up Grant worth £2,000, Sami has now set up a new business called Roots, which grows and sells herbs and other plants sustainably.

Sami said: “Thanks to invaluable support from Business Wales, I now trade regularly at markets and I have a thriving website for sales.”

The Barriers to Start-up Grant for over 25-year-olds is a revenue grant to help economically inactive and unemployed individuals over the age of 25 to start up a business in Wales.

Of the successful applicants in the latest phase of the grant scheme, 57% were female, 26% were disabled, and 13% identified themselves as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.

Speaking at the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government is determined to create a fairer and more prosperous Wales, where people are supported to fulfil their true potential.

“We are working hard to create good-quality jobs in communities across Wales. That includes supporting people into work, regardless of their individual circumstances or the barriers they face to employment.

“We are also focused on supporting more people to start their own business, fostering an even more vibrant SME sector, and prioritising enterprises built on sustainability and the industries and services of tomorrow.

“I am delighted this grant initiative has already helped so many people, including those from groups under-represented in the labour market, and those in and out of work with long term health conditions.”

£5m support

As well as assisting individuals aged over 25 to start up a business, the Economy Minister approved £5m over three years to support young people into self-employment with advice and financial support to deliver on the Young Person’s Guarantee.

The Young Person’s Start-up Grant for those aged under 25 went live in July 2022 and is administered by Big Ideas Wales. This grant will run until 2025.

Find out how Business Wales could help you at

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