New British Library report confirms BIPC Northamptonshire is an engine of economic recovery and growth

Business support

13 July 2023

Picture of English bank notes

Between April 2020 and March 2023, BIPC Northamptonshire:

  • Helped to create 336 new businesses and 91 additional jobs
  • Generated £3,631,857 Gross Value Added (GVA)
  • Supported a range of entrepreneurs, of which 68% were women, 23% identified themselves as from a minority ethnic community, 11% were disabled, 29% were aged 35 and under and 11% were from the most deprived areas

Published by the British Library, Democratising Entrepreneurship 2.0 reveals the national impact the Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Network has had over a three year period from April 2020 to March 2023. The report shows how BIPC Northamptonshire has continued to support entrepreneurship and economic recovery at a local level, contributing to a payback of £6.63 for every £1 of public money spent across the BIPC Network.

The BIPC in Northamptonshire Central Library and its network of BIPC Locals in Brixworth, Kettering, Towcester and Wellingborough Libraries are physical hubs where people can learn, network and access free information and support in protecting and commercialising a business idea.

The service comprises:

  • Free access to high-quality UK and global market intelligence, customer insights and company data (worth over £5m), combined with intellectual property advice and guidance
  • Free workshops, one-to-one support and mentoring delivered by library staff and public/private sector business experts and partners
  • Topical and inspirational networking events, featuring role model entrepreneurs
  • Accessible and welcoming spaces with access to PCs, desks and Wi-Fi
  • A comprehensive package of online support; including webinars, one-to-one business and IP advice sessions and screenings of our programme of inspirational panel discussions
I owe much to BIPC Northamptonshire, if it wasn’t for their one-to-one support and helping me find the knowledge I needed to start up I wouldn’t have got the courage to do it. Now I’m the proud owner of Higham Refill and wouldn’t change it for the world!Laura Curling, founder of Higham Refill
We know life has been tough for so many businesses in recent years and we want to help as many as possible.

Despite these challenging times, I’m delighted that we’re able to report some positive figures of how our libraries have been able to offer some much needed support and advice at a local level.
Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for growth and regeneration
This month marks 50 years since the British Library first began operations and helping businesses to innovate and grow continues to be one of the Library’s core purposes.

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.
Isabel Oswell, Head of Business Audiences at the British Library
I am delighted that the £13 million of public investment from the Government has enabled the British Library’s Business & IP Centre network to equip thousands of people across the country with the knowledge, skills and support they need to start and grow their own business.

Helping people turn ideas into thriving businesses is part of our ambitious plan to maximise the potential of the creative industries and create jobs, opportunities and economic growth across the county.
Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay

The first BIPC opened at the British Library in St Pancras, London in 2006 and the nationwide BIPC Network was established in 2012, with support from the Intellectual Property Office. Following a £13 million investment from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2020, the BIPC Network expanded to over 100 locations, reaching people who are under-represented in business in more urban, rural and coastal locations than ever before. 

The full Democratising Entrepreneurship 2.0 report, including a range of case studies, can be downloaded from the British Library’s website.