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Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL)

Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL)

What is Start-Ups in London Libraries

Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) supports aspiring entrepreneurs across ten London boroughs through a network of business support in over 60 public libraries.

We will give you the skills, information, confidence and connections you need to turn your ideas into a viable business.

The Start-ups in London Libraries project is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the British Library, ten participating London boroughs and generously supported by JP Morgan and Arts Council England.

Who is the Start-ups (SiLL) programme for?

To take part in the Start-ups in London Libraries workshops, you or your business needs to have a London-based postcode and you need to be:

  • The owner of a business which has been registered at Companies House or HMRC for fewer than 12 months, or
  • An aspiring entrepreneur with a business idea you want to develop.

What you will receive

You will receive a fully funded package of support – workshops, one to one support, access to business resources and events - with the Essentials of Starting your Business!


Bexley’s SiLL offers five free workshops, which aim to put practical support in place for entrepreneurs at the earliest stage of their business development. Currently all our workshops are offered online.

Check the upcoming workshop dates on Eventbrite and book your place.

What next for my business?

In this full day webinar workshop you’ll get invaluable insights into using local borough libraries' and the British Library Business & IP Centre’s resources to conduct research for your new business, learn how to protect - and continue protecting - your intellectual property and develop a strategic roadmap for your business.

  • Session 1: What next for my business idea?
  • Session 2: How to Protect a Business Idea.

Find out more about the What next for my business? workshop on the British Library website

Get ready for business

Find out how to set up your business and avoid common start-up pitfalls in seven easy steps in this high energy and practical workshop. This full day workshop offers a step by step guide to the practicalities of starting a business, including business planning, the business model canvas, validating your idea, etc.

Find out more about the Get ready for business workshop on the British Library website

Find out more about the Marketing Masterclass workshops on the British Library website

Get ready for business: FINANCE

In this full day webinar workshop, our finance expert will cover the main financial areas you need to consider for your business.

Split in two sessions we will be covering:

  • Session 1: The Importance of Profit and Loss and Cashflow (10:00-13:00)
  • Session 2: Analysing Performance, forecasting and Sources of funding (14:00-17:00)

Get ready for business: SALES

In this full day webinar workshop our sales experts will cover the key topics needed to help you identify and engage with your target customers and build a winning sales funnel.

Split in to two sessions covering:

  • Session 1: What am I selling and to whom? (10:00-13:00)
  • Session 2: Turning sales planning into revenue (14:00-17:00)

Marketing Masterclass (Parts 1 and 2)

Split into two half-day workshops, our Marketing Masterclasses will equip you with the knowledge and resources needed to increase brand awareness and attract more customers.

  • Part 1: Customer profiling, Good & Bad, Your strategy for growth
  • Part 2: Marketing and sales, Digital marketing, Partnerships and Brand

Extra events and clinics

Our Start-ups in London Libraries Business (SME) Champion is facilitating practical workshops to enhance your learning and answer questions on the concepts delivered in the workshops. 

Using COBRA for your Business Research

This one hour practical webinar will explain the basics on how to access and make best use of COBRA (Complete Business Reference Advisor) available remotely and for free from Bexley Libraries.  

COBRA is an online business reference library, containing factsheets, contacts, key market issues and trends, sources of funding and support to help entrepreneurs, including COVID-19 advice, plus hundreds of practical guides to starting up on more than 600 small business trades and professions.

Check the upcoming COBRA webinar dates and book your place.

One-to-one support

Our Start-ups in London Libraries Business (SME) Champion provides one hour information advice sessions.

We will talk through your ideas and help you assess your needs, create an action plan and identify the information and organisations to help you develop your business ideas and business plans.

These sessions are currently available to book up to two weeks in advance.

Check the upcoming dates on Eventbrite and book your session here.


Alongside the workshops and one-to-one support, SiLL provides opportunities for you to become part of London's thriving start-up community through networking events such as Start-up Stars and Inspiring Entrepreneurs as well access to helpful online content including webinars, business sound bites, webcasts and interviews.

Additionally you are able to access business databases and other for free with your Bexley Library Card, including COBRA, Access to Research and Career Active.

Find out more information on our eReference page.

Certificate and on-going support

Once an entrepreneur has received 12 hours of support from us, they will be given a SiLL Certificate of completion and their start-up with have a lifetime pass to use the BIPC’s business support team.


If you have any questions relating to starting a business, or you currently run a business registered within the last 12 months, please contact Ioanna Lymperaki, SiLL Project Coordinator:
Tel: 020 3045 4487