IN the last nine months BRAG Enterprises have helped support 111 new business start-ups in Fife

Sarah Somerville, the Business and Enterprise Manager based at the Crosshill Centre, has every reason to look very pleased here as she has just calculated her Fife figures for her clients and these are very impressive.

Sarah and her team dedicate themselves to supporting unemployed people into self-employment. BRAG Enterprises deliver a program called NEA in Fife, Tayside and the Forth Valley areas on behalf of their prime contractor People Plus.

So, what is NEA? New Enterprise Allowance is a DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) initiative aimed at giving unemployed people the help and support to become self-employed.

The NEA programme involves a referral from JCP (Jobcentre Plus), the client then visits BRAG’s Enterprise team where they attend informative workshops and receive mentoring support to complete a business plan. The team also offer advice on funding options.

From April 1 2019 to January 31 2020 in Fife alone 123 clients started on the NEA programme with BRAG. Of these 123 people, 114 had their business plans approved (93%), 111 started trading (97%) with 97 clients still trading after 26 weeks (86% from start to 26 week trading).

Here are just some of the comments that Fife clients made about their experience of working with BRAG’s Enterprise team: “You made a lot of the business set up elements seem so much simpler and that in itself was worth its weight in gold. I can't thank you & the team enough.” - Jim Primrose Primrose Driving School.

New NEA client Colin said: “I felt Sarah helped me so much in my new business venture, the NEA programme is much more than just help, it’s mentoring. BRAG went above and beyond to help me get my business started.”

Business and Enterprise Manager Sarah said this week: “I am thrilled with these figures, it is evidence that the NEA team here at BRAG are very passionate about their role in supporting individuals into self-employment.”

To learn more about NEA visit: or speak to your JCP Work Coach if you have one.