British Library, National Library of Scotland and Mitchell Library open Scotland's first Business & IP Centre

British Library, National Library of Scotland and Mitchell Library open Scotland's first Business & IP Centre

The British Library today (Friday) celebrates the opening of the first Business & IP Centre service in Scotland.

Delivered in partnership with Glasgow Life, the National Library of Scotland and Santander, the new service in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library is the 12th National Network Centre modelled on the British Library’s Business & IP Centre, and the first ever to open in Scotland.

Opening its doors today on World IP Day, the new Centre will support entrepreneurs and small businesses in Glasgow to start, protect and grow their business through access to a wealth of free business and IP resources including information on patents, trademarks, designs and copyright. The service will harness the expertise of local public and private business, including Experts in Residence, and work with regional partners such as Scottish Enterprise, Business Gateway, the Chamber of Commerce, local universities and colleges and Glasgow-based enterprises to deliver a programme of free and low-cost workshops and events for anyone thinking of starting or growing their business. The events programme will include live streams of inspiring talks at the British Library, which in the past have included Mary Portas, ‘Queen of Shops’, Julie Deane, the British Library’s entrepreneur-in-residence and founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, and Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter.

Recent figures show that the Business & IP Centre and the National Network helps 63 people to become entrepreneurs every single day. The service has proved to be an accessible space for SMEs: 60% of users across the National Network last year were women and 39% were from a BAME background, compared with just 20% and 5% of business owners respectively. An independent report found that nine out of ten companies helped by the Business & IP Centre succeed past three years, compared with only six out of ten across the UK.

Scotland’s first Centre opens as the Philadelphia Free Library last week announced the opening of a new support service for start-ups inspired by the British Library’s BIPC.

Find out more about the services on offer by visiting

Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library, said:

We are delighted to join with our partners at Glasgow Life and the National Library of Scotland to mark the opening of the Business & IP Centre at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. The BIPC network has a proven track record of harnessing the power of libraries to realise their potential as hubs for social and economic growth and democratising the path to entrepreneurship, and this launch – the first BIPC to open in Scotland – is an exciting landmark for all involved.”

Dr John Scally, National Librarian at the National Library of Scotland, said:

Creativity and innovation among entrepreneurs and start-ups rely on the most up-to-date information and advice available. We have vast business and intellectual property resources in our collections and want businesses throughout Scotland to know that help and expertise is there. We are pleased to partner with the British Library and the Mitchell Library to open this service in Glasgow. By our combined efforts we will help local businesses thrive"

Dr Bridget McConnell CBE, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, said: 

Glasgow is one of the most exciting cities in the UK in which to start a new business and I’m delighted that we will become the first city in Scotland to join the British Library’s UK-wide Business & IP National Network, enabling us to support everyone in the city who has a great business idea. The Mitchell Library has a rich history in helping entrepreneurs and new business start-ups. Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the Mitchell’s business support offer, working alongside the British Library and National Library of Scotland to deliver exciting workshops, digital skills classes, IP clinics and inspiring entrepreneur speakers alongside one-to-one business support within this new Business and IP Centre. It promises to be a truly fantastic asset for all those looking to start their own business in our city."