Democratising Entrepreneurship

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On Monday 8th July 2019 Longcroft Founder, Abi Purser, and Longcroft Marketing Manager, Lucy Barrow, proudly attended a very special reception at the House of Lords organised by the British Library’s Business and IP Centre Network.TheDemocratising Entrepreneurship’ reception celebrated the Business & IP Centre Network’s success in helping UK businesses, like Longcroft, to innovate and grow. 

Abi Purser and the team at Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel were one of a small number of innovative businesses invited to attend the reception because of Longcroft’s inspirational approach to cat care in the UK and ongoing association with the Buisness and IP Centre’s scheme. Longcroft took part in its ‘Scale Up’ program, receiving invaluable guidance to support the growth of the hotel group. In 2017, Abi Purser presented to other start up business owners as part of the Business and IP Centre’s ‘Innovating for Growth Start Up Program’ and she now provides one-to-one mentoring to other inspirational start-up business owners, to help them and their businesses to grow. 

The British Library Business and IP (Intellectual Property) Centre has created a unique model, providing targeted help to aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and helping established SMEs to scale up. The Business and IP Centre Network has enhanced libraries as centres for innovation, economic growth and social mobility in the heart of diverse communities. Business and IP Centres now operate in town and city libraries cross the UK. They are physical hubs where people can come together to learn, network and access free and low-cost information and support. 

Monday’s House of Lords reception was hosted by Lord Karan Faridoon Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer. He launched the Business and IP Centre’s ‘Democratising Entrepreneurship’ report. He highlighted how the scheme has helped to create 12,288 new businesses since it was launched and has played a significant role in breaking down barriers to starting and growing a successful business, reaching people who are under-represented in the business community. For example, of those who started a new business with the scheme, 55% are women, more than twice the national average. 31% are from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background, over six times the national average. Businesses that have started with the libraries’ help continue to demonstrate impressively strong survival rates. On average, over 40% of businesses fail after their first year of trading, yet of businesses started with the National Network’s support between 2012 and 2018, nine in ten were still trading in 2019.

As an innovative and trend-setting brand itself, and the UK’s only luxury hotel group for cats, Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel is delighted to continue to be associated with the Business and IP Centre Network. Founded in 2010, the company has grown rapidly thanks to its revolutionary approach to cat boarding, placing animal welfare at its heart. Longcroft offers peace of mind to the most discerning cat owners when they go away, by providing a tailored, home-from-home experience for its feline guests.

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