Funding boost aims to turn libraries into startup incubators (Wired UK)


Libraries might conventionally be seen as
non-happening places, but a £650,000 funding boost is set to add a
further 10 UK libraries to the six already taking part in a scheme
aiming to disrupt conventional libraries.

The Enterprising Libraries grant, which launched in
2013 as a £1.2 million project in partnership with the Department
for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Arts Council England
and the British Library, aims to support budding entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.

The scheme supports local libraries, by encouraging
them to provide a place where people can exchange ideas and learn
new skills. By drawing on the community networks fostered by local
libraries, the scheme aims to transform libraries into places where
entrepreneurial talent can be fostered.

“The formal business
environment can be an intimidating place, but it needn’t be,” says
Community Secretary Eric Pickles of the British Library.
“Enterprising libraries give people from all backgrounds the
opportunity to go and get free expert advice from their library,
and receive the support they need to make the most of their great

Under the Enterprising Library scheme, people
interested in setting up their own businesses receive advice,
coaching and help on how to develop a business proposal and pitch
their idea to the market place.

“Local communities are untapped business resources –
filled with capable and bright individuals who just need a helping
hand,” says Pickles. “By extending the Enterprising Libraries
funding today, we can help grow Britain’s ever expanding pool of
entrepreneurial talent and ensure that local economic growth is supported across the

“Public libraries are of huge value to local communities,” says
Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library. “As familiar
and trusted public places, and access points to vast amounts of
free information, libraries also have powerful potential as engines
of innovation and growth”.

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13 March 2015 | 11:29 am – Source:


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