Female entrepreneurs boosted by business network

Female entrepreneurs boosted by business network

A service that supports Worcestershire businesses has been described as an engine of economic recovery and growth by the British Library.

And female entrepreneurs have been revealed as the top beneficiaries.

In its Democratising Entrepreneurship 2.0 report, the British Library praises the Worcestershire Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC).

It reveals that between January 2021 and March 2023, the Worcestershire BIPC:

• supported a range of entrepreneurs, of which 72% were women, 10% identified themselves as from a minority ethnic community, 12% were disabled, and 13% were aged 35 and under.

• helped to create 531 new businesses and 158 additional jobs

• generated 7,735,498 Gross Value Added (GVA)

According to the report, since the Worcestershire BIPC was established in 2021, for every £1 of public money spent across the BIPC network, it has contributed to a payback of over £6.

The BIPC in Worcestershire Libraries are physical hubs where people can learn, and access free and low-cost information and support in protecting and commercialising a business idea, as well as networking with others.

Suki Pantal, founder of Suki’s Curries and Spices, said: “The BIPC has been so supportive to me throughout my journey of launching the company.

“I’ve attended a lot of the webinars and they’ve advised me on getting my website done and about IP rights. The support has been tremendous to a lot of new and upcoming small businesses.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for communities at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We are delighted at the recognition BIPC Worcestershire received from the British Library.

“BIPC Worcestershire has had a significant impact on the local economy by supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, providing free business support and expert advice to ensure their thriving and successful journey.”

Isabel Oswell, head of business audiences at the British Library, said: “This report reiterates the unique power of libraries as engines of innovation, economic growth and social mobility in the heart of diverse communities.

“Whether you consider yourself an entrepreneur, freelancer or just have an idea, the Business & IP Centre Network provides accessible, free and impartial support, delivered by dedicated informed professionals and trusted business experts, both online and in person across the UK.”

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