ENTREPRENEURS and small businesses in Liverpool are set to benefit from a new specialised service dedicated to helping them succeed.
On Thursday (29 January) Central Library launched an Business & IP Centre – one of just seven in the UK. The service which is based on the successful British Library model, will give access to a wealth of free advice and support, giving people the opportunity to take advantage of free intellectual property and business information and expertise.
The resource was officially opened by Councillor Gary Millar, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Investment.
Councillor Millar said: “This is a hugely exciting initiative which will enable people to protect, research and commercialize their ideas.
“Liverpool is a city full to the brim with business-savvy entrepreneurs who may have great ideas, but some are unsure whether they can be protected. Our new centre will provide them with invaluable advice and support, giving them confidence in their idea and helping them take the next steps to make it a reality.”
“You just have to look at last year’s International Festival for Business to see how this city values this sector, and we firmly believe that this city is one of the best in the UK to set up and grow a business.”
The Business & IP Centre will provide free access to business databases, market research reports, company data and technical standards along with information on patents, trademarks, designs and copyright. Each month, there will be a programme of free workshops, speed mentoring sessions and networking events delivered by business experts. These will focus on a wide-range of topics including starting up, marketing, finance as well as how intellectual property can protect products, brands and designs.
The city council is working in partnership with Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and the British Library in London to bring the exciting initiative to the city.
It has been part-funded through the Department for Communities & Local Government and Arts Council England ‘Enterprising Libraries’ programme which is transforming libraries into enterprise hubs in their local communities.
Tony O’Neill, Head of Business Growth for Liverpool Vision, said: “Central Library’s services to business have always been a bit of a hidden gem in the city. This partnership between the city’s leading business agencies and the British Library will give the centre the profile it deserves – it will provide a tremendous resource to businesses from fresh start-ups to established companies.”
Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “Libraries have a significant role to play in underpinning innovation and supporting enterprise, as proven by the success of the first Business & IP Centre since it opened at the British Library almost ten years ago.”
Liverpool’s Business & IP Centre will join five other Centres created in city libraries over the past two years in Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.
Councillor Wendy Simon, Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, will also took part in last Thursday’s launch.