Start-up Day

Start-up Day 2021 in partnership with Santander. Turn your brilliant idea into a business
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Join us online for a day of free talks and practical advice sessions designed to get your business idea off to a flying start.

The Business & IP Centre’s Start-up Day is back for 2021, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, with involvement from over 20 libraries around the UK and over 50+ speakers.

Join us online for a day of free talks and practical advice sessions designed to get your business idea off to a flying start. The British Library is leading a revolution by inspiring a thriving community of new and existing business owners. It’s free to join and open to everyone. And for over a year, it has been fully available online.

This year, we’re bringing sustainability in business to the fore. We believe sustainable businesses play a significant role in encouraging more sustainable behaviour. Through collaboration with consumers and government businesses and their owners will help accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis and make a positive impact in society. Headline talks include individual and panel discussions with Santander, Mintel and more to be announced soon. 

Pick and choose from our jam-packed schedule of inspirational talks and sessions, jump around between the different breakout rooms, find events local to you across the country, or just settle in for the full day. You only need to register once to get access to the full day of events. You can then choose which sessions you attend.

With our live chat feature, you can also continue to talk to fellow attendees, share advice and network. Events are being hosted across the country so this is an opportunity to meet a wider breadth of people than ever before. 


Check out our confirmed talks below and keep an eye out, as there are plenty more to come...


Main programme

Our central programme of talks is:

  • How to understand sustainability trends in the UK right now
    Global market researchers Mintel share the inside track on emerging trends affecting your business ideas right now. We’ll cut through all the jargon and data to bring you the big headlines trending in key sectors and, of course, in sustainable living.

With Richard Cope, Senior Trends Consultant at Mintel


  • Sustainable in the City
    You don’t need to have extensive space outside to have a significant environmental impact – and nor do your customers. These three founders turned limits on space on its head to find new opportunities. We’ll be asking them how they generate sales while operating as carbon neutral companies, and how they support other social impact organisations while also staying competitive.

With Charlie Francis and his co-founder of Bottle Farm; Heather Gorringe, founder of Wiggly Wigglers and Jane Riddiford, co-founder of Global Generation


  • The Business of Sustainability with Santander
    Sustainability is no longer just a requirement for businesses; it also presents a huge opportunity. Rather than treat sustainability as an afterthought or as a boost to brand image, our panellists discuss how they have infused sustainability into their core businesses model from day one and share the inexpensive methods they used to help you do the same.

With Lynne Robertson, Enterprise Education Lead and Sustainability Business Partner for Santander Business Banking


  • Community as a service: a model for enhancing sustainability in business 
    Each of the three speakers has a compelling story about how their community helped them pivot and build resilience through a network. This helped them sustain their businesses through challenging times, but also share knowledge, skills and experience with their peers.  

With Sheila Akinlabi, founder of CocoBean Giftbox; Khalia Ismain, co-founder of Jamii and Tonisha Tagoe, founder and CEO at Apples and Pears Holdings


  • Getting real with sustainability 
    Starting a business requires single-minded belief and commitment to your vision. It might be too big a challenge to be wholly emissions-free and sustainable from the start, but it can truly make a difference over time. We explore the many ways small businesses can learn from other countries leading the way in improving their resource efficiency.

With Julie Deane CBE, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company and  Professor Bhaskar Vira, MA MPhil PhD, an expert in environmental economics at the University of Cambridge


  Closed Caption outline icon

All of our central talks will be live captioned to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the event. 

 Breakout Room 1

What’s more, our National Network centres will have supplementary events running throughout the day, including:


 Breakout Room 2

  • Circular Economy: prosperity in a world of finite resources, featuring Terence Chung (FRUU), Natasha Steele (Urban Cordial) and Niklas Vila Karpe (Two Lives), moderated by Anna Triponel (Triponel Consulting)
  • The Sustainable Start-up: building climate conscious principles into your business from day one, with Rachael Castell (OurPledge)
  • How to put sustainability at the heart of your business, with Ethstat Ethical Stationey 
  • Introduction to intellectual property with the British Library
  • A guide to sustainable business with the British Library
More to be announced soon.

Business headshot editing service

 We may not be in person but there’s no reason to not be picture perfect. Instead of our regular headshot service, photographer Sam Lane will be on hand to help make your selfies more professional than ever with their editing skills, so that you have the perfect headshot for your LinkedIn profile. We will be sharing more information about how to use this service on the day.

Don’t forget to follow #BIPCStartUpDay across social media to keep updated on what all of our speakers have to say throughout the day.

In partnership with Santander



Name: Start-up Day
Where: Online
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.