The Business & IP Centre in Leeds
Practical workshops will arm attendees on how to protect their idea, write a business plan, develop a marketing strategy and research the market using the libraries’ up-to-the-minute intellectual property and business databases.
4 mins read

Libraries kick-starting the next generation of entrepreneurs

The Business & IP Centre in Leeds Central Library will launch Start-up Day this Thursday (21 September) as part of a national drive to celebrate the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

The day will be jam packed with free workshops, talks and events at the library to equip budding business owners with the tools to turn their start-up dreams into reality.

In the last year alone Business & IP Centre Leeds has supported over 1550 people to set up and grow new businesses. Many of these businesses were led by groups which are traditionally under-represented in the business world: this year 53 per cent of businesses established were owned by women and 37 per cent by people from black and Asian minority ethnic backgrounds.

The British Library Business & IP Centre, and the National Network of Centres, will open their doors to over 2,000 aspiring entrepreneurs keen to hear from a stellar line-up of seasoned business experts who’ll be sharing their know-how and insider tips. Names behind some of Britain’s biggest brands will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Speakers from Virgin StartUp and Google Digital Garage will be on hand to advise aspiring entrepreneurs on issues surrounding funding and maximising their online impact in today’s digital age. Practical workshops will arm attendees on how to protect their idea, write a business plan, develop a marketing strategy and research the market using the libraries’ up-to-the-minute intellectual property and business databases.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity said:

“We are delighted to be hosting a fantastic programme of free events, training and inspirational talks for budding business owners and entrepreneurs at the Business and IP Centre Leeds as part of our Start-Up Day launch on 21 September. This is a brilliant opportunity to not just hear from business experts but also attend a range of specialist workshops offering a wealth of practical tips and advice.”

Isabel Oswell, Head of Business & Research Audiences at the British Library said:

“Following the success of our inaugural Start-up Day last year, we’re delighted to launch another inspiring and informative day of events in city libraries across the country with some of the industry’s key ‘movers and shakers’. For those people out there who have a business idea but aren’t sure what steps to take next, Start-up Day is a great place to begin.”

The initiative also has the backing of Margot James, Small Business Minister, who’ll be delivering a keynote address as part of the programme said:

“We want to make sure Britain is the best place in the world to start and grow a business, and initiatives like the British Library’s Start-up Day help make this happen. This is an exciting time in the UK to build a business and it is particularly pleasing to see ever more women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds gaining the confidence, skills and know-how to turn their ideas into successful businesses.”

Research indicates that businesses who start up a business with the support of the Business & IP Centre network have a far greater chance of being successful. Currently in the UK over 60 per cent of businesses fail within the first three years of trading, but a recent independent evaluation has showed that 90 per cent of businesses that started up with the help of the Centre were still trading after year three.

Ronan Harris, Google UK&I Managing Director said:

“In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful; and when it comes to new business, it’s essential. We are delighted to collaborate with the British Library and bring our Google Digital Garage experts to 11 locations to ensure every entrepreneur has the digital skills needed to grow their business or launch the next big idea.”

Andrew Hutchison, Head of Strategy, Virgin StartUp said:

“Virgin StartUp has now supported over 1,900 entrepreneurs across the UK, we’ve experienced firsthand the levels or work and commitment startups have to put into their business during their infancy years. We’re proud to be one of the startup community voices supporting the British Library with this event, the agenda is crammed with everything we know a startup will need. I’m delighted we’ve got several of our inspirational Virgin StartUp entrepreneurs down to tell their story and share their lessons.”

About British Library Business & IP Centre:

The British Library Business & IP Centre exists to protect and grow successful businesses. The Centre provides free access to the UK’s largest collection of intellectual property resources, market research and business data, coupled with free and low-cost training, one-to-one support and networking events in an aspiring and accessible space.

Since 2012 the Library has been rolling out its model for business support to other UK city libraries, and currently heads a co-branded network of 10 partner Business & IP Centres offering comparable services to current and aspiring entrepreneurs across the country.

About British Library Start-Up Day:

The British Library Start-up Day 2017 will take place on 21 September in London (10:00 – 18:00) and will be delivered through the National Network of Business & IP Centres, as well as through partner and branch libraries in other locations around the UK. National Network cities participating in Start-up Day 2017 are Birmingham, Barnstaple, Exeter, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Norfolk, Northampton, Sheffield. Other cities who will be joining in are Aberdeen, Glasgow, Nottingham and Worcester.

Workshops and talks in Leeds:
  • 9:30 – How to build a social media strategy (Google Digital Garage)
  • 10:45 – Protecting your Intellectual Property (Ward Hadaway Law Firm)
  • 11:30 – Inside innovation (Roger Tipple, product design and development)
  • 12:15 – Gabriella Somerville (Connect Jets luxury private jets)
  • 12:45 – Networking lunch
  • 13:45 – Claire Mitchell, My Business Journey (founder of Chillipeeps)
  • 14:15 – Losing my entrepreneurial virginity with Virgin StartUp (Virgin Startup Loans)
  • 15:15 – How to understand your customer with Google Analytics (Google Digital Garage)
  • 16:30 – How to run a market stall (Keeley Flint)
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