The entrepreneurial north east has seen more businesses set up with the help of a government scheme than any other area of the country, ministers say.
Around 13,500 of the 70,000 new businesses set up by benefit claimants under the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme are from the north east.
This is more than in any region, including London and the south east.
The scheme allows benefit claimants to receive a grant to help them start their own business.
They also receive support from a business mentor.
There were 13,310 start-ups in the Midlands and 12,790 in London and the south east.
Employment Minister Priti Patel said: “Through this scheme, we’re helping to unlock the talent and entrepreneurialism of the great cities in the north and central England, with these areas showing the highest number of jobseekers turning a big idea into a business.
“Starting up in business successfully needs so much more than just funding – it needs the right support and advice at the right time, and we’re doing just that through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.
“We will ensure that every part of Britain, including the northern powerhouse, benefits from a growing economy and that everyone who works hard gets the opportunities they need to succeed.”
The NEA helps jobseekers, lone parents and people on sickness benefits to set up their own business.
People on the scheme get expert help and advice from a business mentor who will help them to develop their business idea and write a business plan. If the business plan is approved, they are eligible for financial support payable through a weekly allowance over 26 weeks up to a total of £1,274.