SOME 250 people in Oxfordshire have started a business while backed by the New Enterprise Allowance fund for jobseekers.

Seventy of these were based in West Oxfordshire, 60 in South Oxfordshire, 40 in the Vale of White Horse, 50 in Cherwell and 30 in Oxford, according to figures from the Department for Work & Pensions for the period from April 2011 to March 2017.

Across the South East as a whole, 8,040 people opened a business using NEA.

The scheme includes business mentoring, financial support for up to six months and can include a loan of up to £25,000 to help with start-up costs.

Support is paid at £65 a week for 13 weeks, then £33 for 13 weeks, making a total of £1,274 over 26 weeks.