back to work enterpprise allowance

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.

You can qualify for a Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) if you are:
Setting up as self-employed in a business that has been approved in advance in writing by your local Partnership Company (Galway Rural Development)
Getting one of the qualifying payments listed below for at least 12 months

Jobseeker's Allowance
One-Parent Family Payment
Blind Pension
Disability Allowance
Carer's Allowance (having stopped caring duties)
Farm Assist
Invalidity Pension
Illness Benefit for 3 or more years

Qualifying periods
Periods of time spent in FÁS and Failte Ireland training courses, Community
Employment, Tús, Social Economy Programme, Job Initiative, Rural Social Scheme, VTOS, Teagasc, FIT and Back to Education Schemes are accepted as qualifying periods provided you were entitled to a qualifying payment before starting on the study or training.

Help available to those starting a business
Your Enterprise Officer can give you advice and support in developing your business  idea into a  business that can begin trading with the support of the BTWEA. Business Training Programmes are run throughout the year at various locations throughout county Galway.

There is a Technical Assistance and Training (TATF) fund available to people who have progressed onto the scheme and this is operated through the Employment Support section of the Department of Social Protection. It can assist in developing the self- employment once it has started.

If you qualify for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance you can keep the following portion of your social welfare payment, including increases for a qualified adult and qualified children, for a maximum of 2 years:
100% for the 1st year
75% for the 2nd year

Secondary benefits 
You can keep your secondary benefits (apart from Rent or Mortgage Interest Supplement) for as long as you are getting the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance provided your household income is less than €317.43 gross per week. The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is paid directly into your bank or building society account each week.

You must contact the Department of Social Protection immediately if your self- employment ends or you take up employment or if you change address. You do not have to pay tax or PRSI on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance but you will have to pay tax and PRSI on any income you get from self-employment. 

How to apply

To apply for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, contact Michael Burke, Enterprise
Officer, Galway Rural Development on 091 844335 or

Welcome to the Galway Rural Development website. Galway Rural Development, through the programmes we administer, will continue to work along with other agencies, groups and individuals around the county to improve the quality of life for all citizens in our area. We especially wish to work with those who are most in need of assistance, to provide real opportunities for people to gain significant improvements for themselves and their communities throughout rural Galway.

Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.