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Enrol: 0207 364 5665

Idea Store Business & Employment Support

Idea Store Business Support

Turn your business idea into a reality

The Start-ups in London Libraries [SiLL] project, led by the British Library’s Business & IP (BIPC) Centre and supported by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to give you the skills, information, confidence and connections to turn your idea into a viable business.

Are you eligible?

To take advantage of the FREE Start-ups in London Libraries workshops, you or your business needs to have a London-based postcode and you need to be:

  • The owner of a business which is either not trading or been registered at Companies House for fewer than 12 months.
  • Or, you should be an aspiring entrepreneur with a business idea you want to develop.

If you fit into one of the above categories, then you are eligible to attend the free quarterly workshops. 

If you meet the above eligibility criteria you can also take advantage our FREE Business Start-up Surgery.  

Start up in London Libraries Two Day Workshops 2019

Book you place on the next two day workshop

What is SiLL? 
The Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) programme is designed to support the growth of early stage entrepreneurs (those with a business idea or within 12 months of registering their business) and equip them with the tools and resources needed to grow a successful business. This 3 year European Regional Development Fund funded project, will guide many entrepreneurs in growing a sustainable business. 

Tower Hamlets BusinessStartup Surgery 

Have you recently embarked on their entrepreneurial journey and are looking for support and guidance to grow your business?

Do you live in London and have a business idea or you’re an entrepreneurs who has registered their business within the last 12 months?

Then this is the event for you!

  • Learn about the SiLL programme and how you could potentially join. 
  • Or, if you have already registered for the program you can book a one to one.
  • Access our business support digital classroom 

If you have a laptop please bring it with you. 

Drop-in session [Next session 31 October]
Thursdays 9.30am – 1pm
Idea store Whitechapel, 1st Floor Business zone


A programme of free events takes place at Idea Store Whitechapel throughout the year. 


Pitch Perfect: How to share your work so it hits the right note
Tuesday 29 October 6:30 - 8:30pm
Talking about what you do and promoting yourself can feel like an uphill struggle and if you don’t do it well you miss out on opportunities in your business, career or life in general.  In this talk Mary Jane will share with you how to craft a short elevator pitch so your pitch hits the right notes and what you need to do to have the people you meet excited to work with you.
This talk is for you if you’re struggling to get people interested in your business and want to share about your work in an effective and concise way.

The 10 Most Invaluable Free SEO Tools Needed to get to Page One of Google
Tuesday 26 November 6:30 - 8:30pm
With so much conflicting advice about effective implementation of Search Engine Optimization, it's easy to get overwhelmed. In this month's session, experienced SEO guru Mike Loomey, of 3 in 1 Web Design, will take you through 10 or more of the most effective, free and easy to use SEO tools designed to get your blog or website on page one of Google.
By the end of this talk, you will have a basic knowledge on Search Engine Optimization and tools needed to get on page one of Google.






How COBRA can help you

COBRA offers easy to understand and comprehensive factsheets and guides for anyone thinking about starting a small business or working in one.

The 'Business Opportunity Profiles' are ideal for the job seeker and for interview preparation, with detailed information on qualifications and skills, market and trading issues and useful contacts. The 'Business Information Factsheets' and 'Business Legal Library' cover trading issues such as raising and managing finance, marketing and trading abroad and trading legally.

How to use COBRA

COBRA is easy to use with a simple search and a keyword search. Factsheets and guides can be viewed as a text file or downloaded as a PDF.

COBRA can be accessed at your local Idea Store library or from home or work.

View the User Guide as a PDF

View the brief introduction to COBRA video

Idea Store Employment Support

Looking for employment advice and support? Idea Store Employment Advice offers face to face advice and online support, to assist you to find that job or change career. Browse, download or burn to CD an exciting selection of audiobooks and eBooks available via the eLibrary.

Working for Idea Store    

If you are interested in working for Idea Stores, you should look out for advertised vacancies on the Council's web site.

Universal Skills
Universal Skills: employability instant self-assessments for job seekers

  • Assess your skills in areas vital to achieving and sustaining employment such as time management, communication, motivation and problem solving.
  • Step by step guide to help you to create a Find a Job account, including setting up a profile, searching for jobs and, most importantly, creating a CV.
  • Help with gaining or improving the skills you need for job hunting, including good customer skills, job interview preparation and how to cope with the change of starting a new job.
  • Find out about Universal Credit, eligibility and how to create an account and how to make a claim.

Employment Advice Sessions in Idea Stores

First Impressions
Are you disabled, aged 16 to 24 and unemployed?
First impressions, first experiences programme can support you to:
• gain valuable skills and work experience
• get one to one and group support
• have access to your own business mentor who’ll advise, guide and share their ‘real life’ experiences
• build your confidence and self-esteem
• make new friends along the way
• create a future of possibilities.
Book your place now on this exciting 14 week programme for young disabled people living in Tower Hamlets and surrounding London boroughs.
Contact: or 07807 799 928 

Job Support Sessions
WorkPath is a unique employment service for all Tower Hamlets residents, providing support for people at all levels of work, skill or experience. If you live in Tower Hamlets, we can provide employment support tailored to your needs, whether you need basic skills or advanced training; access to work experience, apprenticeships or graduate schemes; CV help, interview preparation and more. Based on your individual experience and circumstances, they will then help identify what support you need, and develop your own unique action plan towards achieving your goals, or WorkPath.
Telephone: 020 7364 0626 Email
Tuesdays, 9.30am - 5pm Idea Store Whitechapel  

Job Support Sesions
National Career Service and Employment Support Service provided in partnership with Krypton Training Ltd. 
1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10am - 4:30pm, Idea Store Bow 
2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 10am - 5pm, Idea Store Chrisp Street 
3rd Wednesday of the month, 10am - 5pm, Idea Store Watney Market 
4th Wednesday of the month, 10am - 5pm, Idea Store Canary Wharf
Every Monday and Wednesday 10am - 5pm, Idea Store Whitechapel

For more information or to book an appointment contact 020 7375 3843 or email


Job Club 
Do you need support looking for a job? Pop in and we will be happy to help and answer any of your employment questions. Visit our Job Club which offers free, friendly advice on:

  • Getting back into work
  • Finding suitable training courses
  • Careers and Benefits advice
  • Developing your employability skills
  • C.V. writing and application form writing
  • Searching for a job and interview techniques

Tuesdays 10.30am - 4pm, term-time only, Cubitt Town Library

Job Club
Do you need support looking for a job? then visit our Job Club which offers free, friendly advice on:
• Finding suitable training courses
• Developing your employability skills
• Writing C.V’s and application form
• Searching for a jobs and interview techniques
Every Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm, Idea Store Whitechapel 


A wide range of audiobooks and eBooks available to download to your PC or mobile device or burn to CD.