About Start-Ups in London Libraries
We have teamed up with The British Library's Business and IP Centre in an ambitious programme - Start-Ups in London Libraries (SiLL) - to support people from all walks of life to turn their business ideas into a reality by establishing a coordinated network of business support through public libraries across the 10 London boroughs of Bexley, Croydon, Greenwich, Haringey, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) is a 3-year project, led by the British Library's Business and IP (BIPC) Centre. The project capitalises on existing public library infrastructure and resources, taking a hub and spoke approach led by the Business and IP Centre (BIPC). Together we provide a 'grass roots' solution to business support with a Pan-London approach, breaking down barriers to entrepreneurship and giving people the skills, information, confidence and connections they need to
The project is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund, The British Library, the ten participating London boroughs and generously supported by JP Morgan and Arts Council England.
The Business and IP Centre (BIPC) opened at the British Library in March 2006 with the help of London Development Agency funding. Since then, it has welcomed over 750,000 people through the doors and helped create an average of 550 businesses and 1,200 jobs every year, generating over £35 for the economy for every £1 of public money spent. The BIPC provides entrepreneurs and SMEs with a free and low-cost programme of workshops, one-to-ones and networking events as well as intellectual property advice and access to high value databases, including global company and financial information and market research reports worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. This service is delivered to entrepreneurs across the UK via 14 National Network Centres located in major libraries, with a further two set to open in 2019-20. The BIPC provides an accessible, inclusive business support service to entrepreneurs from all walks of life: on average, 60% of entrepreneurs helped by the BIPC are women and more than 40% are from a BAME background, compared with 20% and 5% of UK business owners respectively.