After a successful seven years in Liverpool supporting fledgling entrepreneurs, Business & IP Centre is expanding into Wirral. Tony McDonough reports
A free support service for aspiring entrepreneurs is expanding to open a a new base in Wirral.
Business & IP Centre Liverpool (BIPC Liverpool) offers entrepreneurs looking to start a business, or grow an existing one, access to a range of specialist support services. It was established at Central Library in Liverpool seven years ago.
Now Birkenhead Library is home to a new BIPC service. It aims to offer hundreds of entrepreneurs access to free resources, information and advice around starting and growing their own business.
Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jeff Green officially opened the centre this week. The launch event was held in partnership with Wirral Chamber and was attended by around 50 business leaders from across the region.
BIPC is designed to help anyone protect an idea and develop their business. People can access a wide range of free resources such as up-to-date market research and business databases and specialist professional expertise.
They can also benefit from a programme of events including networking functions, conferences, workshops and one-to-ones sessions.These are delivered in collaboration with local business leaders, role model entrepreneurs and community partners.
This expansion into Wirral on the back of the success of BIPC Liverpool city region model. Based in Central Library Liverpool, BIPC Liverpool is part of The British Library’s National Network of Business & IP Centres. It has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners over the last six years.
The Birkenhead Central Library move is part of the British Library’s expansion of its network of library-based BIPCs to more than 100 regional and local libraries across England, thanks to £13m of Government funding.
BIPCs have a track record in reaching groups typically under represented in business. On average, over half of those who use a BIPC to set up a business are women and a third are from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
More than triple the national averages for business ownership in the UK, this diverse user base reflects the accessibility and community-based ethos of this library-based support.
Peter Aspinall, strategic library manager at Wirral Council, said: “Business & IP Centres have a proven track record in delivering high quality services which make a huge difference to business success.
“The launch of a BIPC at Birkenhead is a fantastic boost for Wirral and the team in Birkenhead library are genuinely passionate about helping people of all backgrounds to bring their ideas to life.”
Chief Executive of Wirral Chamber, Paula Basnett, added: “This is an exciting opportunity for new entrepreneurs and indeed all businesses across Wirral. It is fantastic that so many people can now access new invaluable support and specialist resources across the Liverpool city region.”