New report shows libraries as engines for local economic growth

A national report revealed the impact that the Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Sussex has had on local economy over a 3-year period from April 2020 to March 2023.

With its regional centre in Jubilee Library in Brighton & Hove, the BIPC Sussex offers support to entrepreneurs and inventors, from the first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business. 

According to the British Library, who commissioned the Democratising Entrepreneurship 2.0 report, the BIPC Sussex helped create 496 new businesses and 157 additional jobs.

Championing diverse entrepreneurs

The report revealed that the BIPC Sussex services reached more people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds than ever before.

Out of all budding and established entrepreneurs, who turned to the BIPC for advice:

  • 66% were women
  • 19% were aged 35 and under
  • 19% were from a minority ethnic community
  • 16% were from the most deprived areas
  • 14% were people with disabilities

The report also showed that 25% of new entrepreneurs across the network had been unemployed or made redundant when they started their business.

Fostering a strong community of businesses

Kim Jack-Riley, founder of Tea & Grazing Ltd, who has harnessed multi-tiered support of BIPC Sussex, said:

“While my concept was well-researched and ready for market, the critical business support provided by BIPC Sussex was the conduit to success.

“They have helped us in fundamental areas such as accounting, marketing, technology, and sales, which would not have been possible on my own.

“Beyond professional guidance and expertise, the BIPC Sussex fosters a strong community with fellow SMEs in the region. For me, BIPC is a safe haven where only growth and positivity exist for my business.”

The Business & IP Centres

BIPC Sussex is part of the British Library's National Network of Business & IP Centres.

Located in public libraries on or near high streets, the BIPCs are physical hubs where people can learn, network and access free and low-cost information and support in protecting and commercialising a business idea.

Our library staff and business experts also deliver one-to-one support and mentoring and frequently organise inspirational networking events, workshops, discussions and webinars, featuring role model entrepreneurs.

Councillor Leslie Pumm, Chair of the Equalities, Community Safety & Human Rights Committee, said: “One of the greatest strengths and defining features of our city is the wealth and variety of its businesses.

“The BIPC is a fantastic free resource that is accessible for everyone, and I’m pleased to learn how many people have benefited from its advice.

“I strongly encourage everyone who’d like to take their business idea onto the next level or invest in their skills to learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ of running a small business, to contact the BIPC at Jubilee Library.”