Start-ups in London Libraries


About the event Click to get info

About the programme

The London Borough of Waltham Forest has partnered with the British Library to bring you the Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) programme.

SiLL provides free support to people from all walks of life to turn their business idea into reality, by establishing a coordinated network of business support. SiLL helps to break down barriers to entrepreneurship, giving people the skills, information, confidence and connections they need to turn their ideas into viable businesses. 

  • Get support researching and testing your business idea; is it viable?
  • Come to free workshops run by industry experts in marketing, market research, intellectual property, business planning, and more.
  • Supercharge your skills in building a competitive advantage, finance management, strategy and more.
  • Gain personalised, one-to-one support from our local SME Champion.
  • Become a part of London’s thriving entrepreneurial community and network.

All workshops and events have been temporarily moved online.

To book free webinars, including the Marketing Masterclass, What next for my business idea?, and Get ready for business, please visit our Eventbrite page.

How to get here Click to get info

Fill out an online registration form and sign up for as many free workshops as you’d like on our SiLL Eventbrite page. It’s that simple! All information that you provide is sent directly to the British Library and securely maintained under GDPR requirements.

Who we are Click to get info

SiLL is supported by Resident Services at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, which includes our team of dedicated library staff.

The local Waltham Forest SME Champion is Jacqueline Brown and she can be contacted at for further information about SiLL or for tailed business support.

The key delivery partners for SiLL are the British Library and 10 London boroughs – Waltham Forest, Bexley, Croydon, Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Southwark, Lewisham, and Lambeth.

The key funders for SiLL are the above-listed delivery partners, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Arts Council England, and J.P. Morgan.

Who can benefit? Click to get info

The SiLL program is open to anyone residing in London (it is not exclusive to Waltham Forest) who:

  • Has a great idea that can be turned into a successful business, or
  • Has an early-stage small-to-medium enterprise that was registered in the past 12 months with Companies House or HMRC.

The programme is fully-funded so it is offered to you absolutely FREE.

What you'll receive Click to get info

Two-day workshop

At our interactive workshop sessions, you'll learn from industry experts about what it takes to start or grow your business. Find out how to set up your business and avoid common start-up pitfalls using a practical guide. Workshop topics include how to protect an idea using intellectual property, how to do market research using free resources at your disposal, testing an idea, gaining competitive advantage, understanding your financial management, knowing your customers and how to build your business model.

Marketing Masterclass

Our Marketing Masterclass will equip you with the knowledge and resources needed to increase brand awareness and attract more customers. This practical workshop will break down and simplify the marketing strategies and processes you need to succeed. Specific topics include customer profiling, good and bad marketing, your strategy for growth, digital marketing, the relationship between marketing and sales, and partnerships and brand collaborations.

One-to-one support

Once you’ve attended one of our workshops, you have access to one-to-one support sessions with Waltham Forest’s SME Champion. During this time, you may further explore subjects discussed in the workshop, carry out market research, and explore how to develop your business. ​You'll also have access to the British Library's business advisers.


SiLL provides opportunities for you to become a part of London's thriving start-up community. This includes a variety of avenues for you to boost your professional development, such as networking at Start-up Stars and Inspiring Entrepreneurs events, insights and referrals to local resources, and access to helpful online content (webinars, business sound bites, webcasts and interviews).

Certificate and on-going support

Once an entrepreneur has received 12 hours of support through SiLL, they will be given a SiLL Certificate of Completion and their start-up with have a lifetime pass to use the BIPC’s business support team.