Global Entrepreneurship Week at the British Library

Kicking off with a pop-up business village at the Library headquarters on Euston Road, the week will include an event showcasing inspiring entrepreneurs such as fashion designer Orla Kiely and 20 year old founder of Gadgetsforeveryone Sam Hargreaves, and the announcement of the Real Business Future 50 list of the most exciting, high potential businesses in the country at a special event featuring Real Business’ Matthew Rock, Inventor-in-Residence Mark Sheahan and founder of Wonga, Errol Damelin.

The ‘London Business Village’, running over Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 November, will be home to some 30 British Library partner organisations who will offer expertise on everything from protecting your intellectual property and brand through to marketing, mentoring and international trading. In the spirit of a lively village atmosphere, Business & IP Centre staff will be on hand to make introductions and ensure that people get the advice and support they need, while making valuable connections with others facing the same challenges. During the two days there will be also be opportunities to attend free masterclasses with entrepreneurial hotshots such as former Dragon Doug Richard, inventor of Kwickscreen Michael Korn and finance expert Johnny Martin.

The theme of growth will continue on the evening of Wednesday 14 November, when the Real Business Future 50 list of 2012’s most up-and-coming businesses will be announced at a special event to celebrate the Library’s ‘Innovating for Growth’ programme. Last year’s Future 50 included designer dress rental, Girl Meets Dress, online furniture store,, boutique hotel booking service, Secret Escapes and social media marketers, We are Social among many others.

On the evening of Monday 12 November, the Library will host ‘Question Time for Entrepreneurs’, an event at which guests will have an opportunity to quiz some of the best business brains in the country, including fashion designer Orla Kiely, the 20-year-old founder of Gadgets4everyone Sam Hargreaves, and the British Library’s own Entrepreneur-in-Residence Stephen Fear.

And in the year when the British Library, in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office, announced its intentions to develop a blueprint for a national network of Business & IP Centres, the second half of the week will comprise a series of live webinars broadcast from the Centre, including the hugely popular ‘Beginner’s Guide to Intellectual Property’, ensuring that anyone across the UK can take part.

Isabel Oswell, Head of Business Marketing at the British Library, says, “A recent survey of Business & IP Centre users showed that in spite of the economic downturn, over 60% of them are planning to expand their business. In response to these findings, and building upon our bespoke support programme for business owners, Innovating for Growth, which launched earlier this year, the British Library promises to offer a wealth of inspiration and support for ambitious business owners during Global Entrepreneurship Week. We urge people to come along to meet each other, to access our trusted network and make connections with some of the best business brains in Britain.”