An innovative, new project run by libraries across Greater Manchester aims to give Stockport entrepreneurs a boost!

Calling all entrepreneurs! Have you got a great business idea, but maybe need a little help to develop it?

‘Build a Business in GM Libraries’ is a new scheme that will be led by Manchester City Council but delivered across the region. Part funded by the European Union, the scheme received £1.3 million from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding to help make the project a reality.

The exciting business-focused scheme will run until June 2023, with workshops having already begun in local libraries across Greater Manchester. The workshops will be running in 8 Greater Manchester districts:

  • Bolton
  • Bury
  • Oldham
  • Manchester
  • Salford
  • Stockport
  • Tameside
  • Trafford

The next workshops at Stockport Central Library are:

  • Thursday 21 April: Know your market; discover why market research and other resources can boost your start up or small business to success
  • Tuesday 26 April: Power up your business; join Wendy Breakell, entrepreneur and named one of the top 50 business advisors in the North West, for this 2 part workshop covering the practicalities of starting and growing your business
  • Wednesday 27 April: Protect your assets; find out the basics of Intellectual Property (IP) and how it can be important to a new business

The Build a Business project will offer advice, tailored support and guidance to local business owners and their teams through a programme of workshops delivered at libraries. The project will also help entrepreneurs to plan, develop and grow their business ideas, while providing the opportunity to network with like-minded people in their area.

In tandem with the workshops and advice available, one-to-one support will be provided in each authority by local small business experts known as ‘SME Champions’. The Champions are carefully selected experts who can share a wealth of knowledge to help participants expand their ideas and build their businesses.

Participants will also have access to their local library’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) at Central Library, where users can access industry-standard business information resources, including powerful market research databases. Businesses that take part will also benefit from allocated workspaces that have Wi-Fi, PCs, printing and 3D printing access.

Visit the the Build a Business in GM Libraries website for more information about the Build A Business project.

Councillor David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus at Stockport Council, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Stockport entrepreneurs to gain valuable insight and assistance in getting their business idea up and running. We know that small businesses really are the heart of our region, so it’s fantastic that this programme is able to be offered in every locality in Greater Manchester. Our libraries are full of such fantastic resources already, so it’s amazing to see them utilised in this way to deliver such an exciting project.”

Redz Holyfield, a Manchester- based baker who recently featured on S4C’s “The Sweet Academy” said: “Build A Business has been a fantastic support to me.Learning about the free market research and other resources has saved me thousands of pounds. It’s amazing! The ongoing assistance is helping me to plan and prepare to grow and be successful.”

Lou Cordwell, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), said: “Build A Business is a fantastic new project offering practical advice and tailored support, all delivered at a convenient location. Greater Manchester is full of entrepreneurial people with great ideas and it’s important we offer them support so that they can drive our recovery beyond the pandemic.

“Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already in business and want to grow, get in touch with Build A Business to learn more.”