This fund encouraged libraries to use their role as community hubs to spark local economic growth and improve social mobility.
Capacity building, participation.
Ten projects were awarded an equal share of the £450,000 fund.
Public libraries, public library authorities, networks of public library authorities or organisations managing a public library authority.
Funds were awarded for activity taking place between September 2013 and March 2015.
About the fund
This programme was supported by the Arts Council as part of our Libraries of the future strand: ‘Libraries as the hub of the community’.
The first stage of the Enterprising Libraries programme saw the British Library, in partnership with the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Arts Council, working with six core city libraries in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle. They established a co-branded network of Business and Intellectual Property (IP) Centres to support the government's innovation-driven growth agenda. The aim of developing these centres was to make their resources more widely available throughout the country.
The grant programme for local libraries was the second stage of the Enterprising Libraries programme. It developed partnerships between local libraries who were successful in applying for this commissioned grant and core city libraries, thereby spreading business and intellectual property expertise into wider communities.
For those libraries that received funding through the Enterprising Libraries programme, the Business and IP Centre national network will provide: a core support infrastructure; branding and expertise around, for example, database licenses; international and national company information; provision of networking areas; webinars; and masterclasses.
The second stage was additional funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Arts Council, announced in March 2015, that they would dedicate £400,000 funding to support the British Library's ambition to transform UK city libraries into hubs for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The British Library also made a contribution of £253,000 in cash and non-cash resources.
Find out how we support libraries across EnglandFind out more
The funding will provide a boost to enterprise in Exeter and Northamptonshire, enabling Exeter Central Library and Northamptonshire Libraries to pilot a Business & IP Centre service to support local entrepreneurs.
It will also enable the British Library to consolidate the network of Business & IP Centres already operational in six cities across the UK, and reinforce the important work the Centres do to engage local Black and minority ethnic communities and disadvantaged groups in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The success of the British Library's own Business & IP Centre service is evidence that libraries have an important role to play in helping businesses to innovate and grow: the London Centre has helped to create 2,775 businesses and an additional 3,345 jobs in new and existing businesses in the period 2005-12. Overall, these businesses increased their turnover by £153 million, which in turn made a gross value added contribution of £47.1 million to London's economy.
Libraries also have a strong record of attracting users from a wide range of backgrounds; an estimated 41 per cent of Enterprising Libraries participants are women, 38 per cent are from Black and minority ethnic groups and 10 per cent are currently unemployed.
In the six Business & IP Centres already open around the UK (in Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield), local entrepreneurs can receive face-to-face advice and training on how to start, protect or grow their business, and can access market research databases and other information out of reach for most small and medium-sized enterprises.
Libraries are an important part of all our lives, bringing communities together and also providing a vital hub for knowledge and information exchange. The success of the Business & IP Centres illustrates their important role in providing business support to those communities and we are pleased to be able to continue to support this work. This additional funding will build on the success of the Enterprising Libraries programme, sustaining the impact of this project to support more local entrepreneurs.
Take a look at the Enterprising Libraries infographic produced by the British Library – you can download it below.
More reasons to love libraries
Our Chief Executive Darren Henley spoke at the British Library's Enterprising Libraries event last night. He blogs about his love of libraries and how the Arts Council is investing in their futureFind out more
Enterprising Libraries - British Library infographic
The successful projects to receive this funding in 2013 were:
The value of libraries
Understanding of the contribution public libraries can make at an economic levelFind out more