Libraries that Build Business: Advancing Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Public Libraries

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Exploring key considerations while offering both inspiration and practical solutions, this resource supports public libraries of all sizes in starting or growing a program for small businesses and entrepreneurs with an eye toward equity and inclusion.

Libraries have a distinctive role to play in the small business ecosystem and can effectively partner to complement existing business services in the community. A nationwide initiative that launched in 2020, Libraries Build Business (LBB) aims to build capacity in libraries offering programming or services to local entrepreneurs and the small business community, prioritizing low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs. And libraries have already begun to transform communities, with programs ranging from one-on-one business consultations, classes, and workshops to networking and equipment lending, as the many initiatives spotlighted in this book demonstrate. Serving as powerful models of how libraries and their staff can advance innovation and economic growth on any budget and scale, these examples will inspire you to plug into your own community while guiding you through the nuts-and-bolts of making it happen. You’ll learn

  • the value to libraries of getting involved in entrepreneurship development;
  • how libraries are integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into their efforts, working to create more inclusive business communities and, in turn, cultivate a vision for justice in communities across the country;
  • vivid case studies of more than two dozen programs representing a cross-section of urban, suburban, and rural libraries, such as Entrepreneurship Academy, a training program; a 6-month business incubator targeting the formerly incarcerated; empowering street vendors, a consulting service with local business experts; and a makerspace for business;
  • best practices related to budgeting, partnerships, staff, outreach, evaluation, sustainability, and other core components; and
  • information about additional resources to support your work.

Imprint: ALA Editions

Published: 2022

Pages: 296

Sku: 9780838938409

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