Start-ups in London Libraries

The Start-ups in London Libraries programme is designed to help aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs from all walks of life to turn their business idea into a reality, or to elevate their new business to the next stage. Through our network of 10 London borough libraries, we deliver grass roots business support almost directly to your doorstep.

Whether you have always wanted to start a business, or have just taken your first steps into entrepreneurship, we will give you the skills, information and know-how you need to build a viable business.

How it works

Visit one of our partner libraries to access a range of free services including: 

  • quarterly free workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups - we offer two workshops (detailed below) to cover all the fundamentals of running a start-up
  • walk-in access to business resources and databases like COBRA
  • one-to-one business information sessions with borough SME Champions 
  • a programme of events, including live-screenings from the British Library's Business & IP Centre
You will also meet like-minded people and gain the confidence you need to make your business a success!

Have a look at the video below to see what some of the Business and IP Centre's success stories have to say about the influence of the BIPC on their businesses, and what they think about this latest initiative to make the BIPC resources and expertise even more accessible.

Our partner library network includes the following London boroughs:

The workshops

Start-ups in London Libraries offer two full-day workshops, which aim to put practical support in place for entrepreneurs at the earliest stage of their business development. These workshops are:

What next for my business?

Covers all the fundamentals of using the BIPC's and your library's resources to protect your intellectual property and develop a strategic roadmap for your business.

Get ready for business

Find out how to set up your business and avoid common start-up pitfalls in seven easy steps in this high energy and practical workshop. 

The combination of these two workshops will give you the insight and support to start and grow your business and, once completed, you will be awarded a personalised Start-ups in London Libraries certificate. 


To take part in the Start-ups in London Libraries workshops, you or your business needs to have a London-based postcode and you need to be:

The owner of a business which is either not trading or been registered at Companies House for fewer than 12 months.


You should be an aspiring entrepreneur with a business idea you want to develop.

If you fit into one of the above categories, then you are eligible to attend our free quarterly workshops. Find out more about the borough workshops, including the dates for the next round of workshops here. If you have any questions about the Start-ups in London Libraries scheme, contact your local SME Champion through the above links. 

Access more business resources online:

Free industry and IP guides

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

The project is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the British Library, ten participating London boroughs and generously supported by J.P. Morgan and Arts Council England.


Upcoming workshops & events


One to one advice sessions for aspiring food and beverage entrepreneurs

A unique opportunity to book a one-to-one session with experienced food sector consultant Vasken Jermakian (Foodication Restaurants).


Build a brand and sell your story

Learn how to brand your business without breaking the bank!


How much will it cost to get my New Product to market

New product development - Costs and prices workshop

Webinar FREE

Webinar: How to get your blog online

Let us take you through the basics of blogging, from deciding how to present your brand to how to expand your blog after initial success.

All business events