Entrepreneurs and small businesses in The East Riding of Yorkshire celebrated the launch of their new Business & IP Centres opening in Beverley Library, Bridlington Central Library and Goole Library.
The launch event in Beverley Library was attended by 24 people, who were impressed with the range of resources available and will be coming back in their own time to explore them further.
Attendees were also interested in the 1-1 zoom business ideas clinics that the Centres arrange, and anyone can take advantage of these.
The next event will be a workshop in Beverley on Friday, 7 January at 10am with Turpin Accounting Services on filing taxes & accounts for small businesses.
The new centres have launched following last year's pledge of £13 million in Treasury funding for The British Library Business & IP Centre Major Expansion of its highly successful network of library based BIPCs from 14 to over 100 regional and local libraries across England.
For the past nine months, East Riding Libraries have been busy preparing their centres, which offer free access to millions of pounds' worth of business and intellectual property information and provide business events, workshops, one-to-one expertise and the space to research, develop and grow in a trusted and accepting space.
These new centres in libraries offer support for the very first steps in business planning and research, and will work hand in hand with the long-established East Riding Business Support Team, who offer expert business advice for more established ideas.
The new centres, together with Regional Centre BIPC Hull, and Grimsby Central Library, form the BIPC Humber Partnership, providing regions with a strong and connected network of business information and support.
Business & IP Centres can open up the path to entrepreneurship for anyone with a business idea, regardless of their background. Consistently, over half of those who use a BIPC to set up a business are women and a third are from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
Councillor Mike Medini, portfolio holder for cultural and leisure assets, said : "The launch of these Business and IP Centres in East Riding Libraries is a huge step forward, and could open the door to all kinds of new businesses and new ideas in the East Riding."
Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism, added: "These new Business and IP Centres in our libraries will make a real difference to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the East Riding, and could be a real gamechanger. I wish the new Centres every success, and look forward to hearing about some very positive outcomes very soon."
The Network has a strong track record of supporting local economies, and in 2019 an independent economic evaluation showed the BIPC was creating £6.95 of public value for every £1 invested, and in the three years to 2019 supported the creation of 12,288 new businesses, 55% of which were started by female entrepreneurs and some 31% by BAME entrepreneurs.