I was recently asked by the British Library to talk at a special launch event to help London entrepreneurs with free business support through a new initiative using our libraries.
How I started my business...
'Start-ups in London Libraries' (SiLL) is a such great idea for start-ups, it will help more businesses to develop ideas. I wish this support was available in my borough when I first started.
What started off as a hobby in 2007, creating dresses as special gifts for friends 15 years ago, turned into a business, stockists in the UK, Ireland, Europe and the US and our own shop in Islington and dresses proudly made right here in London. In 2012, I did the ‘Innovating for Growth’ programme at the Business and IP Centre and received around £10 grand’s worth of business support and mentoring. The programme’s mentoring was invaluable to me.
The BIPC have market research reports and networks at the BIPC can help any business idea get off the ground. Just having like-minded people to connect with can be just want is needed. Often opportunities you wouldn’t have normally in any other way become possible. A really good example is when I was fortunate enough to meet the late Anita Roddick at an Inspiring Entrepreneur event which led me to the BIPC and discovered all the amazing things they do.
More about the 'Start-ups in London Libraries' (SiLL)
It will be a three-year project, Start-ups in London Libraries, designed to help budding entrepreneurs from all walks of life to get their business idea off the ground. This network of free start-up support, delivered in partnership with the British Library Business & IP Centre, will officially launch in public libraries across ten London boroughs this month and is generously supported by the European Regional Development Fund, JP Morgan and Arts Council England. Come and see us on a high street near you!
Where can you find SiLL?
We'll be in Bexley, Croydon, Greenwich, Haringey, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
What the initiative will offer
Open to everyone, from start-ups, early stage businesses and sole traders to those who have simply dreamt of being their own boss. The new services will equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills, information, confidence and connections they need to turn their ideas into viable businesses. Visitors to participating libraries will have free access to business information resources including COBRA (the complete online business reference advisor), a programme of live webinars, practical fact-sheets and market research reports.