The Business & IP Centre Liverpool (based in Central Library) and the British Library have announced the roll out of new local Business & IP Centres (BIPCs) across the Liverpool City Region.
Today (Tuesday September 21st) sees the official launch of more BIPCs in libraries in Liverpool Knowsley, Sefton, St.Helens and Wirral.
Anyone with a business idea or wanting to develop an existing business can now access a new range of specialist support services. Following last year’s spending pledge of £13million in government funding towards a major expansion of the British Library’s Business & IP Centre network, many more local libraries are being equipped with dedicated workspaces, business resources and expert support for aspiring business owners. The expansion builds on the proven track record of support delivered by BIPC Liverpool.
Since being set up six years ago, BIPC Liverpool has helped over 3000 people start or grow a small business.
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson says:
“Liverpool’s Business & IP Centre is a brilliant success story and has provided a huge amount of support to countless individuals. The concept of providing help anyone with a business idea, regardless of their background, is social value in action. What’s hugely encouraging is that over half of those who have benefited and set up a businesses are women and a third are from ethnic backgrounds – more than triple the national averages for business ownership in the UK. This is largely due to the accessibility and community-based ethos of library-based business support, so I’m delighted to see that the success of BIPC Liverpool will now be replicated across the City Region enabling many, many more people to benefit.”
The new BIPCs will be situated in Crosby, Huyton, Birkenhead, St. Helens and Allerton libraries. Each will be equipped with a core set of resources including a powerful range of free business databases, provided by the British Library. There will also be a programme of events, workshops and one-to-one advice sessions delivered in collaboration with local business leaders, professional advisors, successful entrepreneurs and community partners.
Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian at the British Library, says:
“At their heart, libraries are trusted spaces with professional staff who have a mission to connect people with information. Our BIPC Network harnesses the power of libraries, bringing in expertise from the local community to help people from all walks of life turn an idea into a successful business.
“We’re delighted to mark this next chapter in the Network’s journey, growing from 14 to over 100 new regional and local Centres across England. Our mission is to put business support in every library, whilst maintaining our commitment to ensuring IP workshops and events are also open to everyone online.”
Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, says:
“It’s brilliant that small businesses and entrepreneurs will now be able to access invaluable support and resources across the Liverpool City Region.”
Details of individual library opening times and range of BIPC services can be found at www.liverpool.gov.uk/bipc