British Library launches Reset. Restart programme to help SMEs future-proof their business and aid the nation’s economic renewal

Today, the British Library’s Business & IP Centre (BIPC) launches a dedicated, six-month programme: Reset. Restart, to support SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) across the country to transform, future-proof and grow their business through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Open to all business owners, Reset. Restart offers practical, jargon-free training and advice through a free, tailored programme combining national and localised support.

The core programme comprises a series of 10 monthly webinars delivered nationally on topics including: opportunities in the ‘new normal’, product and service innovation, marketing, finance and new business models. The webinar series will repeat each month. Participants will be also pointed towards further support from their regional library-based Business & IP Centre, including 1-1s with local experts in business planning, marketing and finance, and networking with the local SME community. With social distancing and the “rule of six” set to continue into the coming months, sessions will take place remotely where appropriate.

For details and booking, visit

Reset. Restart runs alongside the day-to-day services provided by the BIPC Network, which offers free and low-cost access to business intelligence, market research, 1-1s, training and IP support to aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and more established SMEs across the country. With 14 regional Centres across the UK, the Network has a proven track record of helping to create successful small businesses with strong survival rates and of supporting under-represented entrepreneurs. A recent independent report released by the British Library showed the Network has helped to create over 12,000 new businesses and over 7,000 new jobs in the UK in just three years. Of those new businesses, 90% succeeded beyond 3 years; almost double the national average. Over half of the new businesses created were owned by women, and over 30% were owned by entrepreneurs from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

Following a major government investment of £13million, the British Library is set to expand the BIPC Network to 22 regional Centres in England and Scotland by 2023, with a further 90 local Centres across the Network. This support will enable the Library to work together with public library partners across the UK to deliver this proven model of accessible support to aspiring entrepreneurs in cities, towns, villages and rural communities across the country.

Reset. Restart and the Business & IP Centre expansion form a key part of Living Knowledge: For Everyone, the British Library’s new strategic statement of how it will work in the coming months and years to support economic, social and cultural renewal in the face of the pandemic’s extraordinary impact. The For Everyone report is published today.


Libraries Minister, Caroline Dinenage, says: “The Reset. Restart scheme from the British Library will provide the practical help and skills that entrepreneurs need to recover from the impact of coronavirus and grow successful businesses. Thanks to our £13 million investment in the network, more businesses, jobs and local economies across the country can benefit from the invaluable expert advice available through this fantastic institution."

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, says: “As it becomes increasingly clear that Covid-19 is a long-term challenge to the way we all live and work, the British Library has redoubled its commitment to ensuring that all entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UK can access the skills and information needed to adapt and flourish. We are delighted to join with our public library partners to launch Reset. Restart and provide tailored, sustained support not only to our national SME community, but to every business owner affected by the current crisis. At a time when entrepreneurs face an unprecedented array of challenges, whether rewriting their entire business model, marketing to a new audience or building a digital space, our goal is to ensure that the path to transformation and renewal is accessible to all.”


Notes to Editors

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

Business & IP Centre National Network

The first Business & IP Centre opened at the British Library in March 2006 with the help of London Development Agency funding. Since then, it has welcomed over one million people through the doors, scaled up to 14 regional Centres located in major libraries across the UK and helped to create tens of thousands of new businesses and jobs. The Network supports entrepreneurs and SMEs from all walks of life to start, protect and grow businesses. Resources on offer include intellectual property advice and access to high value databases, including global company and financial information, and market research reports worth over £5 million. Visitors also have access to a free and low-cost programme of workshops, one-to-ones, networking events and inspiring talks from high-profile entrepreneurs screened from the British Library. In March 2020, the British Library secured a major government investment of £13million to expand the Business & IP Centre Network to 22 regional Centres in England and Scotland by 2023, with a further 90 local Centres in towns, villages and rural communities.

For more information:

Ash Khan
The British Library

Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0) 20 7412 7150

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