Innovation and enterprise blog

The British Library Business & IP Centre can help you start, run and grow your business

1 posts from December 2023

13 December 2023

Celebrating small businesses this season

This festive season discover a variety of delightful Christmas gifts from the entrepreneurs supported by our Business & IP Centres (BIPCs) across the UK. From handmade crafts to one-of-a-kind creations, each item carries the hard work, dedication and passion of individuals who have embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship. We shine a spotlight on the extraordinary accomplishments these small businesses have achieved with the support of their local BIPC.  

By choosing something from our featured gift guide, you’ll not only surprise your loved ones with a gorgeous gift, but you’ll also support and celebrate our vibrant community of small business owners.

Let it shine  

Thanks to Her - Christmas product

One business who received support from BIPC Leeds is Thanks to Her. Eliza attended their Start-up Leeds programme, a series of workshops focused on the foundations of starting and running a business. Their sterling silver jewellery is not just a gift; it's a heartfelt tribute to the extraordinary women who inspire and uplift us. Each piece of jewellery is specially selected to symbolise the special bonds you share, with opportunity for personalisation. All adorned with beautiful Thanks to Her gift box and gift bag for the ultimate gifting experience that recognises and celebrates the women who make our world brighter, kinder, and more beautiful.   

Cost: £16.95-£44.95  

Where to find: Thanks to Her   

Elevate Your Accessory Game 

Elle for leather 1

Fed up with fast fashion? Elle for Leather was created to offer good quality, stylish bags without the designer price tag. With the planet and the slow fashion movement in mind, Elle for Leather only use top quality raw materials, with a classic aesthetic and are handmade and built to last. Emma’s business was supported by BIPC Leeds and attended their two-day creatives workshop, covering all aspects of running a creative business, from choosing the right platform to protecting copyright. 

Cost: Prices of products vary, belts start at £35 and bags range from £100-200  

Where to find: Elle for Leather  

All that glitters  


Lily & Roo (who used our scale-up programme Get Ready for Business Growth) was founded in 2018 by Brittany Preston from her kitchen table, with a vision to create timeless everyday jewellery, made & sourced responsibly. The majority of pieces they create are made to order and hand-crafted in London with recycled precious metals, and designed to capture a special moment or emotion. This Christmas, their range of new personalised and pearl pieces make meaningful gifts, designed to be treasured.  

Cost: £55-£300+  

Where to find: Lily & Roo  

Wrap up warm  

Squirrel Scarf

Embrace your love for nature and style by gifting your loved ones this festive, eco-friendly scarf this Christmas. Made from 95% recycled faux silk satin featuring the stunning Formby red squirrel, this design was created from original watercolour art by artist Rebecca Christian, whose business was supported by BIPC Liverpool. This scarf is the perfect addition to any winter wardrobe and uses British manufacturing and sustainable materials.  

Cost: £45   

Where to find: Rebecca Christian  

Give the gift of a Christmas tipple  

Wine Chateau

Wine Chateau are one of BIPC Northamptonshire’s Kick-Start grant winners. Be part of their journey, and discover the unparalleled craftsmanship of Milestii Mici Winery, holding a Guinness World Record for the largest wine collection in the world. Give this exclusive gift set featuring two exquisite wines: a luscious Chardonnay, showcasing a perfect blend of fruity and floral notes, and a rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, with its bold flavours and elegant finish. Elevate your gifting experience with this exceptional duo that embodies the essence of Moldovan winemaking excellence.   

Cost: £26.61  

Where to find: Wine Chateau, Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Chateau, Chardonnay   

Pure festive joy 

Poinsettia & bird

Mayajoy, a home and lifestyle brand, has been supported by BIPC Devon through their Woman in Business programme which aims to empower women to realise their full potential and pursue their dream careers through upskilling, coaching and business resources. Mayajoy  has an incredible range of products that would make ideal Christmas gifts. The Christmas Poinsettia and bird festive tea towel is hand painted in Maya Lawrence's Devon-based studio and digitally printed and manufactured in the UK to limit waste.  Their handmade affirmation velvet zip pouches feature Mayajoy's slogan, metallic lettering, water repellent lining and a contrasting gold zip and come in navy, olive and blush.  

Cost: Teatowels are £14 for one or £25 for two, Velvet pouches are £20 

Where to find: Mayajoy  

‘Tis the season to sparkle 

Delmora necklace

Using gold, recycled sterling silver and stainless steel, Delmora offers a collection of unique and meaningful jewellery pieces that will add some luxury to your gift-giving this year. They have a Recycling and Repair Service, meaning you can reduce personal waste of unwanted or broken jewellery, as well as ensuring your beloved accessories remain in perfect condition. For a more personal touch, you can also engrave your gifts: from dog tags to necklace pendants, ensuring no-one is left out this festive season. Founder Judy is a business ambassador for our BIPC Local in Bromley. 

Cost: Prices of products vary, with jewellery ranging from £18-£150 

Where to find:DELMORA®

Give the gift of inspiration 

Authentic worth publishing

Esther used our Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) programme to help build her business, Authentic Worth Publishing, which helps creatives, authors and business owners authentically share their stories and turn them into published books. Covering topics ranging from identity and self-confidence to grief and moving forward, Esther has published a variety of books that could be just what your loved ones are looking for this Christmas. Esther is now a business ambassador for our BIPC Local in Lewisham.  

Cost: Books range from £10-£19.99  

Where to find: Books by Author Esther Jacob

Make Christmas dreams come true 

Naila lavender sachet

Naila is a business ambassador for our BIPC Local in Waltham Forest and her best-selling, handmade lavender sachet is the ideal gift to offer some calm to the chaos of the festive season. Made from aromatic dried UK grown lavender, this product provides a long-lasting aroma perfect for calming and relaxing practices. You can also explore Naila's wide range of other products, including handmade cushions that can add some comfort to your celebrations this year.

Cost: £12.50 plus postage (will come gift wrapped) 

Where to find: Naila Ahmad London

Get creative at Christmas  

Sweet paper creations

Sweet Paper Creations are a not-for-profit business who support their local community through their Mental Matters piñata workshops, and are also business ambassadors for our BIPC Local in Waltham Forest. Add some festive fun to your celebrations with their winter piñata DIY kit that provides fun for all the family. Choose from a range of seasonal designs and gift something memorable this year. 

Cost: £25 

Where to find: Sweet Paper Creations 

Winter warmers 


Up ’N’ Mellow’s delicious, ready-to-eat nut and fruit porridges are a unique gift this Christmas. Their Instant Peanut porridge is a rich and creamy blend of Ground Peanuts and Oats with a warming and fragrant selection of spices and is a great source of protein and fibre, suitable for vegans. Up ‘N’ Mellow attended a range of in-person and online sessions with BIPC Norfolk, including networking and social media webinars, as well as attending one-to-one sessions with their IP specialist to understand the importance of protecting their intellectual property to kick-start their business.  

Cost: £1.65 

Where to find: Up 'N' Mellow  

Build your own gallery 

Lucy and Sycamore Gap

Lucy Pittaway used our scale-up programme, Get Ready for Business Growth, to grow her business. Lucy’s award-winning vibrant and colourful art makes a fantastic gift idea for art enthusiasts and those seeking unique presents, offering a touch of delight and charm. Mounted prints are versatile, easy to display, and add a pop of colour to any room.  

Cost: from £75.00 

Where to find: Lucy Pittaway

Unlock a world of creativity  


Get Ready for Business Growth alumni Matthew Wright and Melvin Wright created Playpress because they wanted to help children create new stories with toys that were affordable and eco-friendly. The sets are designed for children to follow instructions, build and play out stories, time and time again. They range from sets for 3-6 year olds such as the Gruffalo, up to the challenging Tower Bridge or Space Station, delivering lots of challenge for 7-11 year olds. They are easy to store and post and they even have Christmas sets or stocking-sized toys! 

Cost: £5.99-£17.99 

Where to find: Playpress Toys 

Save the planet one gift at a time 

Xmas polar bear model

Bare Kind used Get Ready for Business Growth to help scale their business. They are on a heartfelt mission to make a difference for animals, one pair of socks at a time. They proudly support various global animal conservation and rescue organisations, uniting fashion with compassion to create a better world for all and each purchase of bamboo socks contributes 10% of the profits towards the protection of the animals featured on the socks. This year Bare Kind are bringing you animal-saving socks with a Christmassy twist, the perfect stocking filler or secret Santa gift! 

Cost: £7.95-£12.95 

Where to find: Bare Kind