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Creating economic opportunity amongst the UK’s most deprived communities

New business creation represents a powerful opportunity to strengthen and support Britain’s most deprived communities.

To understand and quantify the opportunity, we partnered with The Entrepreneurs Network to speak to 1,202 people and SMEs in London’s three most deprived boroughs and six of Newcastle’s most deprived wards. Our polling revealed an untapped potential and strong appetite to start up a business in the UK communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The research found that:


  • Over 4 in 10 (equivalent of over 1 million) people in the UK's most deprived communities have a start-up idea, but for the majority lack of confidence and know-how is holding them back
  • 80% are held back by fears over administrative, tax, and legal compliance
  • Lack of mentoring is a clear barrier
  • 70% of potential business owners do not feel close to having enough money to start a business
  • With the right support, delivered in a more targeted and accessible way, around 20% would potentially take the leap to being business owners

Knocking Down Barriers with MyKindaFuture

To help inspire more businesses, back potential business builders, and level up communities hardest hit by the pandemic, Sage is partnering with MyKindaFuture an organisation that supports underrepresented talent. The three-year, multimillion-pound UK partnership provides training and mentorship to unemployed people who’d like to be their own boss via Jobcentre Plus.

A bright future for start-ups

To help as many people as possible move from unemployment to new business success we’re aiming to achieve our key goals.

  • Breaking down barriers that create unemployment and tackling economic inequality by helping under-represented groups to start their own businesses
  • Giving people the confidence, support, and contacts that they need to start the business of their dreams
  • Enabling people to succeed with an innovative mentoring platform created by MyKindaFuture – Connectr


There are 6 million people in the UK on Universal Credit. It’s our goal to support 517 job centres which service 4.2 million people by year 3 of our partnership so that as many people as possible have access to the support that they need to be their own boss. Here are our goals:

  • Year 1: Offer the programme to Universal Credit claimants through 74 job centres
  • Year 2: Reach 221 job centres to offer the programme to even more people
  • Year 3: Achieve our goal of offering anybody on Universal Credit who wants to be their own boss the learning and mentorship needed to achieve their ambition
  1. If you’re unemployed, you can register on the MyKindaFuture website and highlight that you’re interested in starting a business.
  2. You’ll then be cleverly matched to a series of mentors who have the combined experience and expertise to support your start-up success from concept and prototyping, to managing finances and marketing tips.
  3. You can then access mentor support via the platform whenever you need help and for as long as you need. The platform also provides 12 hours of Sage business start-up content to support you through your journey. 
Discover what else we’re doing to tackle economic inequality and help people start businesses across the world. 
Read more about Fuel for Business

Read how losing a job was a wake-up call for Tere, enabling her to start her own business. 

Read Tere's story

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