British Library released figures last week revealing the extraordinary impact its work supporting the UK’s aspiring entrepreneurs is having on the national economy and small business landscape. The independent report shows that over a three-year period, the Library’s National Network of 12 Business & IP Centres located in major UK libraries, helped to create:
Between January 2016 and December 2018, the Business & IP Centres supported 43,000 people through direct face-to-face support, including a free programme of mentoring, training and intellectual property advice available to everyone via their local city or town library. This personalised, accessible approach is breaking through traditional barriers to starting and growing a successful business, reaching people who are under-represented in the business community. Of those who started a new business with the British Library:
Businesses that have started with the libraries’ help continue to demonstrate impressively strong survival rates. On average, over 40% of businesses fail after their first year of trading, yet of businesses started with the National Network’s support between 2012 and 2018, nine in ten were still trading in 2019.
Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “This report shows that libraries are driving the UK’s regional and small business economy by equipping anyone, no matter what their background is, with the tools and expertise needed to become their own boss. We look forward to partnering with even more libraries up and down the UK to create innovative hubs for aspiring entrepreneurs, as we work towards our goal of opening 20 Business & IP Centres by 2023 and expanding business support to high streets via branch libraries”.