The man in charge of business, enterprise and investment in Liverpool is to offer free expert advice and guidance to entrepreneurs.
Cabinet member Councillor Gary Millar – who has a track record in running successful businesses – will become the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Central Library, offering budding and existing business people help and support in turning their ideas into success, as well as signposting them to others who can help.
The drop in sessions will take place every Thursday from 1-4pm starting 5 February, and the first Saturday of every month.
The initiative is part of Central Library’s new Business & IP Centre – one of just seven in the UK – which gives access to a wealth of free advice and support, the opportunity to take advantage of free intellectual property and business information and expertise.
Cllr Millar said: “Although my role as Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Investment is to politically lead on the business agenda, I am also a business owner and business adviser. I’ve felt the pain, excitement and satisfaction of setting up a business, but I always did better when I sought out help when faced with hiccups, problems and opportunities.
“I have a passion for business and a unique understanding of what entrepreneurs and businesses can go through. My role will be to listen, inspire, motivate and steer people to hopefully the right kind of support
“Professionally, I’ve personally helped over 10,000 men and women set up or grow their businesses; plus I’ve setup a Business Mentor project with the help of Liverpool Vision and created an enterprise competition for our local schools.”
The Business & IP Centre provides free access to business databases, market research reports, company data and technical standards along with information on patents, trademarks, designs and copyright.
There is also a programme of free workshops, speed mentoring sessions and networking events delivered by business experts focusing on a wide-range of topics including starting up, marketing, finance as well as how intellectual property can protect products, brands and designs.
The city council is working in partnership with Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and the British Library in London on the initiative.
Cllr Millar added: “This new offer is only part of the solution and I’m pleased that we now have unique access through The Business & IP Centre to small business advice, support and free business resources available to anyone who wants to use it.
“I’m sure there must be a few budding entrepreneurs amongst the 2,500 visitors who call into Central Library every day and there must be a few who don’t currently visit this stunning building who would find their collection of business databases and publications, as well as a great number of workshops, advice sessions and other events absolutely invaluable.”
Councillor Millar is also seeking more like-minded Entrepreneurs-In-Residence to join him by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org