Politicians of all parties have announced their ambition for Britain to be the best place in the world to start and grow a business. There is remarkable consensus that if the UK economy is to recover and grow after recent economic shocks, we must drive innovation and make the most of entrepreneurial potential.
Our new briefing, 'Supporting Business and Enterprise', shows that public libraries are central to realising this ambition. Through Business & IP Centres and other localised services, the library network has become one of the country’s most effective and accessible sources of support for new and growing businesses. As the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee recently put it, libraries act as “engines for entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation”
Libraries are welcoming, non-judgmental spaces and most of their business services are completely free. It’s understandable that first-time entrepreneurs can feel more comfortable seeking advice from a library than from a bank, trade association or consultant. That’s why the businesses that libraries support are more likely to be run by women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds. As they focus on building a more resilient, dynamic and inclusive economy, local and national decision-makers have much to learn from public libraries and the many thousands of businesses that have benefited from their support.
You can read the full briefing, including case studies from libraries and endorsements from entrepreneurs, by downloading the file below.