From Wednesday 22 July the British Library has started to open some of our Reading Rooms as the first step of a phased reopening. We’re working really hard to open more of our spaces and services as quickly and as safely as possible. For more information, click here. If you are able to come to our Reading Room, you will be able to access our market research and company databases.

The Business & IP Centre will continue to run webinars and you can watch previous events on our YouTube channel. Our reference team are also running online one-to-ones on intellectual property and business information.

These are all available on our website alongside articles, blogs and Industry Guides. We’re here for businesses and look forward to welcoming you back as we reopen.

We support small business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors like you. Our team are here to help you take the right steps to start up, protect and grow your business. 

If you’re an ambitious business owner, with plans to scale-up, we also offer £10,000 worth of free support through our Innovating for Growth programme. Or if you want specialised start-up support we have a programme for that too.

What’s more we have a pilot programme, Start-ups in London Libraries, working in a hub and spoke model with 10 London boroughs to collaboratively provide support to aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage SMEs as well as 13 National Network Centres around the UK.

Upcoming workshops & events

Webinar FREE

Webinar: Kitchen Table Talks: adapting to the times with Julie Deane OBE

Join Julie and the BIPC to hear the ways the Cambridge Satchel Company are adapting to the times and how, with creativity, practicality and optimism, we can continue to move forward.

Webinar FREE

Webinar: Business finance and start-up loans

Develop a practical understanding of how to apply for essential business finance for start-ups and SMEs.

Panel Discussion FREE

Start-up Stars: Making it work

Find out how our panel of entrepreneurs made their businesses work during the uncertainty of lockdown and beyond.

Business resilience toolkit


This is a completely unprecedented time for small businesses and business owners. We have been working on developing a bespoke toolkit for small business owners for this period, all of which can be accessed remotely, wherever you are.

All business events

Resources to help start, run and grow your business

Starting your business

Practical advice to help get your business off the ground, from business plans to market research.

Protecting your ideas

Make sure you understand the basics of intellectual property and how to protect your product, website and brand.

Growing your business

Want to go international or expand your product range? Get top tips for taking your business to the next level.

Databases and publications

Over £5m worth of current market reports from top publishers Mintel, Frost & Sullivan, Passport and more.

Free industry and IP guides

Up-to-date quality information on intellectual property and for researching key industries, handpicked by our experts.

Our research service

Pay our experts to do research for you.

Our Corporate Partners

Our corporate partners help us to support business owners like you from start up to scale up


Read our articles for top tips and advice on starting and growing your business and protecting your intellectual property

Information clinics

Our staff provide free hour-long advice sessions to talk through your ideas in confidence, helping you to develop your business ideas and business plan

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

The EU exchange programme for new and budding entrepreneurs

Blog posts

Julie Deane: Living proof that you can start and adapt a business from your kitchen table

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Julie famously founded The Cambridge Satchel Company from her kitchen table in Cambridge, with only £600, as a means of paying school fees for her children. Being seen on the arms of celebrities and bloggers such as Taylor Swift and...

A week in the life of… Peter Hill, founder of Petvictus

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

This month's blog follows Peter Hill, who in 2018 appeared on BBC's Dragons' Den and won an offer of investment for his inventions, Pedaldish: The Lunchbox for Pets and Katfone: The Ultrasonic Whistle for Cats. Peter used BIPC Birmingham to...

Meet our delivery partner: Melissa Addey

Friday, September 11, 2020

In 2016 I spent a very happy year based in the BIPC as the Leverhulme Trust’s Writer in Residence. During that time, I wrote two business books, developed two mini pop-up exhibitions and ran multiple workshops, which focused on authors...

Meet Patricia Gurman, founder of Sweet Paper Creations and Start-ups in London Libraries participant

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

We’ve all been speaking a lot more about our mental health recently. So we love to hear about businesses that are tackling mental health issues in innovative and creative ways. Enter Sweet Paper Creations: a not-for-profit business that is here...

More blog posts