• Wed. May 29th, 2024

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In two years a Newcastle libraries’ initiative helps over 7,200 NE businesses

DSC_0494 - Business & IP Centre Newcastle - Yummy ThingsNew published findings by Newcastle City Libraries reveals that over a two year period, they helped over 7,200 new and established businesses through their Business & IP Centre (BIPC).

The BIPC also supported the creation of 385 new businesses and creating 660 jobs (predicted to rise to 919 businesses and 3,414 jobs by 2017).

Launched in 2011 the Business & IP Centre located at Newcastle City Library provides support to entrepreneurs and small business owners from all walks of life. Of the 385 businesses created, 56% of the founders were women (compared with the national average of 18%), 11% had a disability and 44% had previously been unemployed or made redundant.

These figures are taken from an evaluation of Business & IP Centre Newcastle over a two year period as part of the Enterprising Libraries project.

Other Key highlights from the study reveal:

• The jobs were predominantly in the Creative Industries – 38%
• The project has helped generate an additional £6m for the North East economy – projected to rise to £34m by 2018
• Free access to business information/databases (82%) and intellectual property information (64%) was reported as a chief benefit, as well as face-to-face support (% rated this as important), and the function of the libraries as a ’one stop shop’ for a range of business support needs (52%)
• Between April 2013 and March 2015 the entire Enterprising Libraries initiative  together created a total of nearly 1,700 new businesses and 4,200 new jobs (predicted to rise to 17,000 jobs by 2017)

These figures are taken from an evaluation of Business & IP Centre Newcastle over a two year period as part of the Enterprising Libraries project.
The Business & IP Centre Newcastle is a partnership between Newcastle City Library and the British Library, which has run its own dedicated Centre to support entrepreneurs since 2006. Enterprising Libraries has enabled the British Library to establish a network of Business & IP Centres in six major cities, plus collaborate with ten further library services around the country to spearhead a business support service in their local areas.

Councillor David Stockdale, cabinet member for communities and facilities for Newcastle City Council, said: “The outstanding success of the Business & IP Centre demonstrates the important contribution that libraries make to support local people to start-up their own business and in supporting business growth in the region. The Centre’s free Intellectual Property and Business Information service, delivered by our trained staff, is unique within the region and the City Library has become a focus for business support activity, delivered by the Library and other private sector and business support agencies.”

One person to benefit from the BIPC services is Gosforth-based businesswoman Serap Slorach. Serap runs a culinary inspired retail business, Yummy Things, and gained some priceless advice about brand awareness and copyrighting.

Serap, aged 48, is originally from Turkey and has a nine-year old daughter, Polly, who helps out sometimes with the business by putting on the jar labels. She moved to the North East over eleven years ago from London where she worked in promotional marketing for an advertising agency.

Like so many entrepreneurial ideas ‘Yummy Things’ was born out of a hobby that Serap enjoyed – as she made jams and chutneys for car boot sales and other local events.  Serap came up with the notion four years ago along with her then business partner Emer Chatterjee (who amicably left the business in early 2015); the two mums set out to initially start up a ‘pop up tea shop’ to sell their food products.

Serap, said: “When you are just starting out in business you have to wear so many different hats.  It can get overwhelming at times so it was really refreshing that the Business & IP Centre could help us out in a variety of useful ways!
“The Centre’s specialist guidance was priceless and very informative. It enabled us to find our feet at such an important stage of the business’s development.  I would highly recommend the service to fledgling businesses or sole traders who might just need that nugget of advice to get them kick-started.  Without the Centre my business might have taken a number of extra years to get to this current stage.”

The leading products from the Yummy Things brand include jams and chutneys namely the chili jam and award-winning, spicy apple chutney and ginger and orange marmalade.  People can find items like these on the shelves of Fenwick in Newcastle and at key food festivals and fairs in the region.

Serap aims to make 2016 another top year with plans for expanding the business by bringing in additional staff, finding a premise and targeting new retail outlets.

More details can be found about Serap’s products at the Yummy Things website www.yummythings.org

Those people interested in learning more about the services provided by the Business & IP Centre at Newcastle City Library can visit www.bipcnewcastle.co.uk

DSC_0494 - Business & IP Centre Newcastle - Yummy Things

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