Over the last year, the Business & IP Centre has become a real hub for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to bounce back from recession, with footfall almost doubling over the last 12 months. Job losses across the capital have contributed significantly to this rise in footfall, with 27% percentage of users stating that they were either unemployed or had recently been made redundant. In total, 65 of the 471 users surveyed self-reported having started a business between 2007 and 2009, indicating that the Centre has helped its 6007 users during this time create 829 new businesses in London – that’s three times as many as in Westfield, Europe’s largest shopping centre!
Despite being conducted at the end of 2009 in the height of a global recession, the survey of 471 users, carried out by Adroit Economics Ltd, demonstrates the immense value of the Business & IP Centre. In total, 89% of entrepreneurs who used our business resources between 2007 and 2009 feel they would not have achieved such success without the Centre’s support, preventing the potential loss of almost £28.5 million to the Capital’s economy.
Head of Business Marketing, Isabel Oswell, said:“This report clearly outlines the immense worth of the Business & IP Centre’s resources, estimating the Net Present Value of the Centre’s support services to London’s economy at £11.3 million. Combining free access to a huge wealth of information with a fully comprehensive series of workshops and advice sessions, in these tough economic times the Centre not only offers inspiration and advice to the capital’s aspiring entrepreneurs, but provides the tools to ensure the survival of innovative young businesses that will drive economic recovery.”
London Development Agency Group Director of Business Support and Promotion Danny Lopez said: “London needs to ensure it has the most competitive business environment in the world in order to keep our capital at the forefront of the global economy. The LDA is supporting small and medium sized businesses by ensuring they have access to valuable information and advice and we are pleased to work with our partners to help SMEs succeed. In these challenging economic times it is increasingly important to help businesses to grow and turn great ideas into commercially viable products and services.”
Relevant skills to help start and grow businesses
An overwhelming 89% of users surveyed felt that they would not have achieved such success without the support of the Business & IP Centre. Without this intervention, our research indicates that a potential £28.5 million could have been lost to London’s economy.
The Business & IP Centre’s service gives entrepreneurs skills and confidence
Businesses in London have lower survival rates than any other area in the UK, and micro businesses face particular challenges. Between 2007 and 2009 the Centre ran thousands of workshops, events and advice sessions on everything from writing a business plan to managing cash flow – arming our entrepreneurs with the tools they need to navigate the tough start-up environment.
Their businesses drive
The Business & IP Centre has clearly helped a huge number of aspiring entrepreneurs investigate their ideas and develop them into successful businesses. Offering immense value for money the British Library believes the Centre should be used as the blueprint for a series of regional hubs to encourage enterprise across the UK.
Oswell concluded: “The British Library has a key role to play in supporting the UK’s knowledge economy. The Business & IP Centre has clearly been an immense source of support for London’s businesses, and the benefits of extending this approach to other cities around the UK are clear. We propose using the Centre as the blueprint for a number of regional business hubs, combined with an enhanced online presence for entrepreneurs and small businesses across the UK.”