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British Library: Get Ready for Business Growth

Leadership Capacity

Impact for scaleups


scaleups supported


of the participants were female and 14% from an ethnic minority background


new products, processes or services developed


graduate mentors trained

Key sectors

Creative, digital, film, games & media

Launched in 2022, the British Library’s Get Ready for Business Growth builds on the success and legacy of the SUI endorsed Innovating for Growth (I4G) programme – the British Library’s flagship scale-up offering. 

As a direct continuation of the I4G programme with a much larger national reach, the three-month programme offers tailored scaleup support for businesses in the arts and culture sector across England and Scotland. It is funded by Arts Council England and has been designed and delivered by the British Library Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) and a number of private sector partners. The programme has tapped into the British Library’s BIPC National Network, consisting of 22 Business & IP Centres across the UK and a further 86 satellite services delivered through town libraries. 

Get Ready for Business Growth has adopted I4G’s course structure and leverages its existing network of delivery partners along with two key learnings: the importance of assigned Relationship Managers and an emphasis on the British Library’s collections and customised business research. The overall programme consists of three streams; Get Ready for Business Growth: Scale-ups, Get Ready for Business Growth: Mentoring and Get Ready for Business Growth: Start-ups and is delivered completely virtually.

The programme, which is delivered to cohorts of c. 25 creative business leaders, consists of 8 workshops and 8 one to one bespoke sessions totalling 32 hours of support. The one to one sessions cover support in strategy development, fundraisings, testing and launching new products, protecting their IP, research competitors and many more. Each participant is paired with a Relationship Manager who oversees their engagement, acts as a counsellor and refers them to relevant services support. Additionally, they receive a personalised research report drawing on the Library’s world-leading collections and are trained in the use of the BIPC’s extensive market research resources.

Get Ready for Business Growth graduates benefit from access to the ‘Growth Club’, an existing community of over 700 leaders, first established as part of I4G; and ongoing engagement with their relationship manager enables their progress to be tracked and the measurement of business outcomes, while also providing ongoing support. 

In its first year, the programme reported positive impact outperforming I4G’s first year in terms of number of scaleup businesses supported, jobs created and new products, processes and services generated, as well as the number of mentors trained. So far, the ‘Get Ready for Business Growth: Scale-ups’ stream has helped 98 creative scaling businesses, with so far 23% of them creating 56 new jobs. As a result of the programme’s learnings, participants have created and implemented 68 new products, processes and services in the first three quarters. 40 graduate mentors were trained with accreditation from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and all participants have been signposted to continuing accelerators and business hubs as part of offboarding from the programme.

“I feel very bittersweet about graduating because it’s been such a transformative experience for our business. Running your own business can be a lonely place, but this programme provided us with the opportunity to meet like-minded people and receive invaluable feedback from experts in their respective fields. We feel more determined than ever to grow and reach new heights thanks to Get Ready for Business Growth.”
– Dana – Codex Anatomy

“We LOVED being a part of this course. It has been intense at times but we realised how much our mindset has changed in the past three months. I feel like our purpose and drive has come back. Things that felt overwhelming and complicated at the start of the programme like auditing our suppliers and measuring our marketing activities now feel achievable and we are really excited to input more that we have learnt into our strategy for 2023.”
– Bee and Amy – Aarven

British Library: Get Ready for Business Growth website