THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Innovation and enterprise blog

3 posts from September 2018

30 September 2018

Libraries Week: Celebrating our National Network

We are proud to have 13 libraries around the country as part of our National Network, including three pilot Centres (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Glasgow and Nottingham), which joined this year. 

While libraries are more often associated with books than business, the National Network project is unlocking the potential of city and community libraries to support innovation and job creation in their local economies. Further, each library is sharing know-how and expertise in order to build the network’s services and keep abreast of developments.

National Network
To celebrate Libraries Week, we’re taking a look at the Centres and shining a light on their importance to their local communities and the businesses they have helped*.

Glasgow

The Business & IP Centre in Glasgow is one of three new pilots and part of the growing National Network of co-branded centres. It is also the first of its kind in Scotland. Housed in Glasgow’s famous landmark, The Mitchell Library (founded in 1877), it is now the hub of a city-wide information service. In partnership with the National Library of Scotland and the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Business & IP Centre in Glasgow allows entrepreneurs to take advantage of free intellectual property and business information and expertise.

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We asked Rosemary O’Hare, Principal Librarian at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, to tell us a bit more about the newly launched services:

"Our services are vital for the local community as they support employability. Those thinking about career options, preparing for a job interview or self-employment can find all the information they need as well as facilities, including PCs, wi-fi and quiet spaces to allow them to explore their options.

We also give entrepreneurs the chance to explore their business idea for free and at their own pace. Access to industry standard business information along with advice and support levels the playing field for those starting out with limited funds. Our events and networking opportunities allow individuals to make connections that can help them improve their business.

It’s also useful to call on local partners to contribute who may be active in the local area, and the connections between library and these organisations usually work well for both the library and partners; and of course we all share the same customers." 

Birmingham

Over 300 workshops and 1-to-1s took place with Retail/Wholesale/Transport and Creative/Media/Publishing being the highest joint sectors the Centre’s users operated in.

Birmingham

Devon

BIPC Devon with Duchess of Cornwall

65% of the Centre's users were women with Creative/Media/Publishing and Retail/Wholesale/Transport being the highest joint sectors the Centre’s users operated in.

Devon

Hull

27% of users were aged 16 – 34, with 40% of users being employees, 27% self-employed and 6% owners of businesses.

40% of businesses were in the Creative/Media/Publishing sector.

Hull

We asked Michelle Alford, Library Services Director, Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, why their services are vital for the local community, and she explained: 

"Public libraries are unique in communities in every locality, no other public, voluntary or private sector venue holds the trust of its communities as libraries do. The level of trust placed in public libraries is built on the knowledge and confidence that anyone can walk through the door (regardless of age, sex, religion, ethnicity, background, education or other characteristic), be met with a warm welcome and be able to spend time using the space and resources to achieve their purpose without having to purchase anything or justify their reason for being there.

Our activity isn’t confined to the walls of the library either, our brilliant staff spend time in communities to understand their needs, share information and encourage them to achieve their dreams using the support and resources of the library as and when they need to. We design services and activities to meet the needs of communities, provide opportunities and to connect people with one another.

A vital link to validated information resources, high quality activities and excellent customer care!”

Leeds

Over 400 people attended 1-to-1s, workshops and events, of which 35% of users were aged 16 – 34 and Creative/Media/Publishing, Retail/Wholesale/Transport and Professional services/Consulting being the highest % sectors the Centre’s users operated in.

Leeds

Liverpool

BIPC Liverpool - launch Jan 2015

29% of Liverpool's Business & IP Centre's users were employees, 25% self-employed and 11% owners. The biggest sectors users operated in were Retail/Wholesale/Transport and Creative/Media/Publishing.

Liverpool

Manchester

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35% of users were aged between 16 – 34 and 38% of users were self-employed, 27% employees and 14% owners of businesses. Retail/Wholesale/Transport and Professional services/consulting were the sectors most of the users worked in.

  Manchester
 Newcastle

BIPC Newcastle

61% of users of the Business & IP Centre were female and more than 550 people attended 1-to-1s, workshops and events. 43% of users were employees and 33% were self-employed. Professional services/consulting was the sector most users operate in.

Newcastle

Norfolk

BIPC Norfolk

36% of the Centre's users were employees and 22% were self-employed. Creative/Media/Publishing was the sector most of the users operate in.

Norfolk

Northamptonshire

38% of Centre users were self-employed, 21% employees and 20% unemployed. Professional services/consulting and Creative/Media/Publishing were the sectors which used the Centre the most. Northamptonshire has a 98% satisfaction rate for the format, quality and relevance of their offerings. 

Northampton

Sheffield

34% of users were employees and 31% were self-employed.

Sheffield

* all data is from April - June 2018

28 September 2018

Top tips from Start-up Day 2018

Activities in 17 libraries around the UK. 101 business events delivered. More than 1,000 attendees across all locations. Webcast around the world. Start-up Day, in collaboration with Santander, once again proved to be a huge success. 

With a full day’s worth of events, there’s a lot of information and words of wisdom to take in from each speaker. Need a recap of what was said? Missed a crucial top tip? Want to relive it again? Or if you missed it, we’ve compiled all the videos of the speakers in this post, along with a key take away tip from each...



Top tip from Mintel senior consumer lifestyles analyst, Jack Duckett: Consumer confidence is on a growth trajectory, meaning there are opportunities for brands to grow.



Top tip from Google Digital Garage's Chami Coomasaru: Set yourself goals, think how you want your brand to be perceived and choose the platforms which are appropriate for your business.

Top tip from author and motivational speaker, Anis Qizilbash: Steep in your purpose... your success does not mean another person's loss. The more you make, the bigger impact you create.



Top tip from public speaking coach, Elaine Powell: [Your pitch] is never going to be perfect. Always ask for feedback and take your performance to the next level, and the next level, and the next level. Never give up, it's a journey, not an end destination.

Top tip from author, motivational speaker and business coach, Rasheed Ogunlaru: [Networking] online is the window to your world, meeting people in person is the door.



Top tip from former CEO of Tangle Teezer, Matt Lumb: Don’t try and do the 80 hours a week thing. You will burn out. Try and get that balance as you scale.



Top tips from:

Precious Jason, founder of Etieno Skincare: Being in business you have superhero days and you have days which are not so great… Be kind to yourself. 

Rebecca Slater, founder of Shine Creative Solutions: Believe in the idea you’ve got and to try and plan out the three most important things you need to get right.

Amy Fleuriot co-founder of Hiro + Wolf and Artisans and Adventurers: Don’t expect it to happen overnight. If you’re having to work alongside it, that’s ok… Just keep at it.

 

Start-up Day 2018 was in collaboration with Santander. To see our events throughout the year, click here.

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19 September 2018

Start-up Day: Meet the Speakers

With Start-up Day fast approaching, here's an introduction to a few of the speakers who will be giving their expert advice on the day.

How to understand the UK market right now
Jack Duckett
@mintelnews

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I am the senior consumer lifestyles analyst at the market intelligence agency Mintel, and I am very much looking forward to sharing my presentation with you.

My presentation has two goals; the first is to help you to get a better sense of the breadth of Mintel research that you have access to at the British Library and the network of libraries around the country. The second is really to give you a sense of the important role that we believe market research plays for businesses today.

For start-up business owners, it can be taken as a given that you know your product and customers extremely well. But, when it comes to your Dragons’ Den moment, whether that be with your bank manager, an investor or a retail buyer, market research can provide the information you need to support your brand and help it to stand on its own. The second core benefit to market research is in helping you to know where to go next with your business, enabling you to see what is changing in your category and helping you to be prepared for the future.

How To Build an Authentic Business Network
Rasheed Ogunlaru
@RasheedOgunlaru

Rasheed Image 1

“Networking, love it or hate it, building a genuine network, is vital in starting and growing business.” says Rasheed. “This session will help session will help you network strategically, effectively, authentically and nerve free.”

Rasheed’s top three quotes and tips on networking and building an authentic business:

  1. Always have something shrewd to say and valuable to bring to the table
  2. Your online, website and social media presence are the window to your world - meeting people in person is the door
  3. What people feel and say about you when you leave the room is your job while you’re in the room.


How to be an entrepreneur
Matt Lumb
@mattlumb1

ML headshot

During Matt’s seven years at Tangle Teezer he transformed the brand from being a “Dragon’s Den reject” to one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and a household name. Matt talks openly about the challenges he and his team faced whilst trying to manage exponential growth overseas growth, UK manufacturing capacity, the importance of IP as well as copycat and counterfeit issues and the grey market. The Tangle Teezer story is a fascinating one as he took it from a start-up to having a valuation of £200M inside five years.


Start-up Stars: How I turned my business idea into a reality

Amy Fleuriot
@hiroandwolf
@artisansandadventurers

Amy Fleuriot

Starting your own business can be an equally exciting and daunting time. I founded Hiro + Wolf five years ago with my wonderful business partner, Bee Friedmann and we have learnt so much on our journey. What started as an accessories brand for people and their pets has grown into two distinct businesses as we launched Artisans & Adventurers two years ago with the help of the British Library. My expertise include design, branding, marketing, ethical sourcing and everything that goes into the day to day running of two shops, an online store and wholesale business. I am looking forward to hearing what challenges new businesses are facing and hope I can offer some advice on the start-up stage.

For more information on Start-up Day, to see which libraries are involved around the country and to sign up to the webcast, visit our website.