Assessment of possibility to create new business   keeping the unemployment benefit while starting a new business is a story on a general level and regulated and operated by NAV (the Norwegian Centre of Unemployment and Social Services)

This is about the tool provided by NAV: To keep the unemployment benefit while starting your own company.

It’s a legislative service, under Norwegian law, paragraph §5-1 regarding Regulations for Receiving benefits when unemployed.

In Norway you get unemployment benefit when you are out of a job. Important to notice: This demands that you have been in a job before you were unemployed.

When you start new business, you can keep your benefit while starting   but to do so you need an assessment from an approved institution regarding your new business. Required by law (§5-1). You can keep your benefit up to 12 months. This helps lowering the financial risk for the person behind the start-up.

The Assessment to keep the unemployment benefit, in our region, is a collaboration between NAV and several advisors at the offices.

In several municipalities it is possible to get help form a local advisor to get the application ready for approval at NAV. We also see a close collaboration between the office and the services provided by NAV.

The form that needs to be filled out requires the following information:

  • Assessment of formal competence related to the start-up
  • Assessment of informal competence and experience in the field of the start-up
  • Assessment of whether the start-up is new business or a bought business
  • Assessment if the business idea has real potential of survival (realism)
  • Assessment of the need for investments in the new business
  • Assessment of help needed in the startup process   short term and long term
  • Assessment of barriers and obstacles that needs to be addressed
  • Assessment whether the project/start-up will make the applicant economically independent

Several offices and advisors give this assessment service. NAV requires that someone with competence in start-ups and regional development perform the assessment. This is a service the office in the municipalities performs, and have done for several years.

The assessment`s done with a meeting between the applicant/entrepreneur and the advisor. Often it follows the regular service provided at the office, and are included in the hours the advisor gives to the entrepreneur. The actual filling out of the form is a cost for the entrepreneur. The advisor either performs this specific service at a fixed cost, or by an hourly rate. and its partnership has a close collaboration with NAV and their services. Whether that is innovative, is not something we can assess.

The collaboration is of great importance for the unemployed people in the local communities.

One difficulty is that youth tend to fall outside the arrangement, because it is required to have had a job before applying to keep your unemployment benefit. T get unemployment benefit, you have had a job. That often exclude NEETs. That is a big barrier. To change this, a change in law, or change in Regulations is necessary. That is also a barrier, and the responsible body is the Government.

This service is of great importance for unemployment, but please note that the law requires that you`ve had a job before you decided to apply to keep the unemployment benefit while starting new business. It can be of importance for youth employment, dependent of the youth having a job before getting unemployed.