I took part in a photo shoot recently to help promote the SiLL initiative to help inspire London entrepreneurs to start their own businesses with the help of free business support from the British Library through our disused London libraries. I've never been keen to have my photo taken, so was a little apprehensive to say the least, but it was a fun day. Elliot Wilcox was the photographer on the shoot, who made me feel completely at ease and tried ever so hard not to pull those "Chandler-esque" gurning faces.
The images will be used for print and digital, you might be seeing my mug shot somewhere! Its such a great idea, and I feel so strongly there needs to be more support for budding entrepreneurs. If there are more choices for consumers, more ethical choices, there can be more change in the world we live in. There are no barriers for entry, anyone can use the libraries and its a great way to help prevent our libraries from closing down. I know if I had something like this on my high street, it might have been a lot quicker to find where I am today, in our own bridal boutique in Islington.
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.