New business hub launches in East Devon – offering free advice, support and ‘essential’ online help

A new hub has opened in Seaton offering free advice and support to East Devon business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors.

The new Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) hub opened at Seaton library at the end of November in a bid to give a boost to those who need support.

The new East Devon centre will provide ‘essential’ online resources for businesses, such as up-to-date market research and databases, provided by the British Library.

And BIPC Devon will offer a programme of events, workshops and advice, with the help of industry experts, long-standing collaborations with professionals, established entrepreneurs and community partners – such as Petroc College, NatWest Enterprise, Exeter City of Literature, Place 2 Be and Exeter College.

A similar BIPC hub also launched at the same time in Okehampton.

Richard O’Mahony, Seaton Library supervisor, said: “Having the addition of the fourth BIPC in Devon is the real icing on the cake after our re-development earlier on this year.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming business owners and entrepreneurs through our doors, and very much hope we can play our part in contributing to the local economy and community which have supported us so well over the years.”

Alex Kittow, Libraries Unlimited chief executive, said: “It’s a really exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Devon with all the business support available from BIPC Devon.

“There are now a total of five BIPC hubs covering the whole of Devon, serving both rural, town and city communities.”

They added: “The continued expansion of the BIPC network, funded by the British Library, into Okehampton and Seaton, enables Libraries Unlimited to offer a wealth of free business information and support throughout our network of 54 Libraries across Devon and Torbay.”

The hub launches come as part of a wider national expansion of library-based business support from The British Library, growing from 14 to more than 100 regional BIPCs across England – made possible thanks to £13million government funding grant.

The BIPC hub and network aims to offer support to people ‘from all walks of life’, helping them to start, protect and grow a successful business.

Richard Love, BIPC Devon spokesman, said: “Thanks to investment from The British Library through Libraries Unlimited, the new BIPC hubs will add a new dimension of business support to start-ups and entrepreneurs within East Devon and the rural community in and around Okehampton.”

BIPC Devon found a 140 per cent increase in people seeking business support in the past 12 months.


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