The British Library is an outstanding source of support for business start-ups, scale-ups and anyone else with an interest in creating commercial success. Through its Business and IP Centre, it gives British business access to the same – if not better – resources as are available to multi-nationals. The offering includes courses, conferences, market research databases, specialist advisors, free wifi, and a quiet place to work and study.
A recent event, Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Brilliant Brands, featured a panel of four successful British entrepreneurs. First they told their stories – how did they go from having a great idea to bringing it to market. Then they answered questions from the audience. A burning issue for many was how to fund business growth. Should they choose loans, sale of equity, or even organic where they wait for actual sales generate enough profit to pay for growth?
The panellists’ answers ranged from – family and friends, savings, credit card debt, traditional bank loans, and sale of equity. One panellist reminded the audience of the classic question: would you prefer owning 100% of a £1 million company or 10% of one valued at £100 million. They were all thought provoking, smart, professional, articulate, and above all generous with their time and knowledge.
They were there to support other entrepreneurs, start-uppers, and scale-uppers. Their message – and that of the Business and IP Centre in general - is help is available just for the asking. We want others to succeed just as we have. These entrepreneurs spoke to the audience as if they were all members of a community. Given how expensive business education is, it’s amazing to find premier quality advice and training either free or at very low cost.
Visit the Business and IP Centre website It describes the support available to small business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors six days a week. They offer market research and company databases, skill-building through workshops and mini-masterclasses, confidential one-to-one sessions, and panel discussions with some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs. There is also the Innovating for Growth programme for scale-up ready businesses. There are ten National Network Centres around the UK.
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7412 7901