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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 Union European Development Fund, aims to give you the skills, information, confidence and connections to turn your idea into a viable business.

Did you know that people who use the British Library’s Business & IP Centre (BIPC) services are up to four times more likely to create a sustainable business, with 90% of businesses successfully trading beyond the three year mark?

What's on offer

  • A quarterly two-day programme of workshops delivered by British Library business information specialists
  • Business information and support, including one-to-one sessions with our Start-up in London Libraries Champion, a business and information specialist.
  • Free access to COBRA, easy to understand and comprehensive factsheets and guides, at home or in store. 
  • A comprehensive programme of events including ‘Marketing Masterclass’ sessions 
  • Webcasts and screenings of the British Library’s flagship 'Inspiring Entrepreneurs' events programme 

Start up in London Libraries Two Day Workshops 2019

  • Tuesday 4 June and Thursday 20 June

  • Tuesday 10 September and Wednesday 11 September

  • Tuesday 19 November and Wednesday 20 November

To find out more complete the Business Enquiry Form or visit the Business Zone on the 1st floor at Idea Store Whitechapel.  


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

Think Your Way to Success
Tuesday 28 May 6:30 - 8:30pm
The key to success is a positive mind-set, which strengthens and encourages everyone in their in daily life, their jobs, and the businesses they set up. Often, affirmation and coaching techniques do not work - not even “Law of Attraction” coaching.
In this interactive seminar Aslam Cheval will share his information about why that is and how our subconscious mind is connected to the life we have created for ourselves.
By joining this seminar you will: 
Gain a deeper understanding of Mind Architecture
Learn how to skyrocket your progress and glide your way to success
Find out how to transform your dreams into beautiful realities
Find out more about how you can instantly eliminate your fears and limiting beliefs.
book tickets

Start-ups in London Libraries Two Day Workshop

Day One: What next for my business idea?
Tuesday 4 June 10.00am – 5.00pm

•             Day One am: Introduction to the Business & IP Centre A half-day workshop giving valuable insights into unlocking the British Library Business & IP Centre’s £5 million collection of UK and global business databases (including market research and company and financial information) to assess market potential and develop a viable business plan, upskilling attendees to ‘know their market’
•             Day One pm: How can I protect a business idea? A half-day workshop introducing the key aspects of intellectual property and helping attendees ensure that their product, service and brand are protected from copycats and remain profitable in the long term. Delivered by the British Library Business & IP Centre staff:

Day Two: Getting ready for business
Thursday 20 June, 10.00am - 5.00pm

A full day workshop demystifying business start up and covering the ‘nuts and bolts’ of setting up a successful enterprise, including legal structures, business planning, managing finances, marketing, finding funding and getting a product to market. Delivered by First Ascent.


The Psychology of Success
Tuesday 25 June 6:30 - 8:30pm
There are lot of elements that shape your psychology for success but the most important one is the way you take action. Expert psychologist Nerea will help you to find your inner resources and take the right actions in order to be successful at your business or ideas. By attending this seminar you will gain the understanding of your psychological aspirational level, knowledge of the market, your target audience or customer, your right network and how to put thoughts into action.
book your free tickets


Sell More with Emotionally Persuasive Content
Tuesday 30 July 6:30 - 8:30pm
In a business world dominated by content, great Copywriting and Emotionally Persuasive Content are key when it comes to creating deep connections with your audience, a strong personal brand and - most importantly - more sales. This seminar will explore the basics behind persuasive content and the techniques that can make writing easy and efficient for every business owner who wants to have a strong, branded communication. 
book your free tickets






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

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.