New scheme to support SMEs through Covid-19 launched by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough libraries and the British Library

08 December 2020

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Business and IP Centre (BIPC) and the British Library are launching a dedicated programme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cambridgeshire to transform, future-proof and grow their business through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Open to all UK business owners, Reset. Restart offers practical, jargon-free training and advice through a free, tailored programme. The scheme is delivered nationally by the British Library with local support from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough BIPC.

The national programme comprises a series of 10 monthly webinars on topics including opportunities in the ‘new normal’, product and service innovation, marketing, finance and new business models.

Businesses in Cambridgeshire can access further support from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough BIPC, including 1:1 sessions and an extensive online programme of workshops launching in mid-December. With social distancing and national restrictions set to continue into the coming months, sessions will take place remotely.

The first seven local online workshops will be delivered by Anglia Ruskin University, which have been produced using the knowledge of their academics and experienced entrepreneurs. These will focus on areas including understanding your customers, making the right business contacts, building relationships with your customers, and means of generating income.

Reset. Restart runs alongside the existing services provided by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough BIPC, which is one of 14 regional centres in the British Library’s BIPC Network. The centre offers free and low-cost access to business intelligence, market research, 1-1s, training and intellectual property (IP) support to aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and more established SMEs in Cambridgeshire.

Following a major government investment of £13million, the British Library is set to expand the BIPC network to 22 regional centres in England and Scotland by 2023, with a further 90 local centres across the network. Currently Cambridgeshire & Peterborough BIPC operates from Cambridge and Peterborough central libraries, and will be expanding to Ely, Huntingdon and Wisbech libraries.

Councillor Steve Criswell, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities & Partnership Committee, says: “We know that this has been a challenging year for businesses across the county due to the impacts of Covid-19. I’m delighted that the council is helping to deliver the Reset. Restart scheme to support our SMEs in future-proofing and growing their businesses through the pandemic and beyond, helping to strengthen the local economy both now and in the future."

Professor Yvonne Barnett, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at Anglia Ruskin University, says: “As an anchor institution in the East of England committed to supporting economic growth, we are delighted to be expanding on our existing work with small and medium-sized enterprises as part of this project with libraries in our region and the British Library.

“Our academics have practical experience and expert knowledge of their sectors, and are committed to helping local businesses not only weather the storm of Covid-19 but also to take opportunities to prosper and grow.”

Libraries Minister, Caroline Dinenage, says: "The Reset. Restart scheme from the British Library will provide the practical help and skills that entrepreneurs need to recover from the impact of coronavirus and grow successful businesses. Thanks to our £13 million investment in the network, more businesses, jobs and local economies across the country can benefit from the invaluable expert advice available through this fantastic institution."

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, says: “As it becomes increasingly clear that Covid-19 is a long-term challenge to the way we all live and work, the British Library has redoubled its commitment to ensuring that all entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UK can access the skills and information needed to adapt and flourish. We are delighted to join with our public library partners to launch Reset. Restart and provide tailored, sustained support not only to our national SME community, but to every business owner affected by the current crisis. At a time when entrepreneurs face an unprecedented array of challenges, whether rewriting their entire business model, marketing to a new audience or building a digital space, our goal is to ensure that the path to transformation and renewal is accessible to all.”

For details and booking for the National Reset. Restart Programme, visit the British Library website.

For details and booking for the Local Reset. Restart Programme, visit the eventbrite website

For general information on BIPC Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, visit the Cambridgeshire County Council website.