Category Archives: Business

How Business Information Points can help you get the job you want

Westminster Libraries Business Information PointsWestminster Libraries have four Business Information Points (BIPs) which are aimed at helping people start up their own business by providing access to a wide variety of online resources, books and magazines. However, have you ever thought about how these resources could help you not only start up a business but also find and gain the job you really want?

In Westminster Reference Library we have witnessed just some of the ways in which it can be done. To start with, library users are afforded that extra bit of time they need on the library’s BIP computers to find and apply for jobs as well as do their business research, administration and planning. And the online resources – both the In House Specials and the 24/7 resources – have come in handy as well. Indeed, just a few days ago someone used Marketline to help prepare a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on a company with whom he had an upcoming interview.

Careers 2017COBRA the Complete Business Reference Advisor (log in with your library card number) shows people how to start up and run a successful business. However, it is also helpful in showing which qualifications you may need, organisations you could contact and what to do in order to start out on your own or find a job in a particular area. Similar to this is the yearly careers directory, a book which explains in brief which qualifications you will need to begin and progress in certain careers as well as what each job entails, how much you will be paid and what the future prospects are.

Market research databases such as IBISWorld, Marketline and Mintel can all help you to research the best sector to aim for. This is important as it might take time to prepare for a career through gaining the necessary experience and qualifications.

You can use Experian and Marketline to find out which companies you can approach and look at to find the job and experience you wish to gain. Experian can also help you learn about key names and connections, this can also be done with Who’s Who UK (log straight in with your library card) which is searchable by keyword as well as just name.

Use these databases to learn about companies and markets, plus the experience and qualifications you will need to help you in any applications you make. When it comes to actually applying for jobs they can help you prepare for those tough interview questions. Most libraries also have books to help you do any tests which you may need to perform during the application process.

How to pass professional level psychometric tests by Sam Al-JajjokaHandling touch job interviews by Julie-Ann AmosThe interview book by James Innes

The BIPs in Westminster are located in Westminster Reference Library, Paddington Library, Church Street Library and Pimlico Library – come and see us, and keep an eye out for BIP events that might be of use in your career planning.

[Owen]

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3D Printing, Break Dancing, Beast Wagon and more

Westminster BiPs logoDid you know that half of young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 want to start their own business? Well, Westminster Councillors certainly do and when they decided to launch Westminster’s first Enterprise Week , to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week 11-22 November 2015, the focus was firmly on young people and access to enterprise.

With this in mind, we hosted an Enterprise Fair at Westminster Reference Library, one of many events held across the council and in BIP libraries for Enterprise Week, showcasing the range of business support and assistance for enterprise and self-employment, creative courses, programmes, apprenticeships, funding and more, offered by organisations from a cross section of industries including fashion, music, dance, food, graphic novels and more.

We were delighted to have with us as stall holders on the day the London College of Beauty TherapyIndustry in the StreetsFashion Retail AcademyNatWest Enterprise,  Westminster Enterprise CentrePortobello Business CentrePaddington Development Trust, Maida Hill PlaceBusiness Launchpad,  Orbital ComicsRain Crew, Young Enterprise and Producer/Presenter N. N. D. who featured sound bites from participants for her programme on The Workplace on ResonanceFM.

Julie Bundy & Simon Aslaaf from Maida Hill Place, at Westminster Reference Library's Enterprise Fair, November 2015

Julie Bundy & Simon Assaf from Maida Hill Place

The day’s highlights also featured guest speakers who shared business journeys and industry insights. We heard from Julie Bundy & Simon Assaf from Maida Hill Place , a social enterprise offering tailored support for food industry start-ups, who spoke about food enterprise and the Pop-Up economy, and why food remains their passion – for Julie, it’s the power of food to bring people together under even the most challenging circumstances; for Simon, it was the food industry’s capacity to stay afloat despite the advent of the internet, where, as he reminded us, you still can’t fry an egg!

Clint Sinclair and Sharifa M Momad breakdance at Westminster Reference Library's Enterprise Fair, November 2015

Clint Sinclair and Sharifa M Momad breakdance

We were also delighted to have Westminster’s very own Clint Sinclair, in his guise as managing director of Rain Crew London Dance, a non-­profit company working to bring people together through dance, delivering classes, events, performances and community based projects. From Clint and guests we learned about the world of the break dancers or b-boys, and the dance ‘battles’ or competitions that take them all over the world. With fellow dancer Sharifa Tonkmor, Clint gave a brilliant live breakdance performance and then introduced guest Spin (aka Juan David Gaviria), a successful B-Boy dancer who spoke eloquently about how looking to his future, he successfully combined his dancing with enterprise by training to become a barber.

Beast Wagon, created by Owen Michael JohnsonThis was followed by Chris Thomson, Event manager at Orbital Comics who chaired a fascinating discussion with Owen Michael Johnson, twice British Comic Award-nominated writer & artist and creator of Beast Wagon, a black comedy comic book series set in a zoo, and Jason Atomic, artist and all round cross cultural creative & performer.

All talked about how drawing as youngsters shaped their future careers and the economic & creative challenges of working in the comics/graphic novel industry. The panel discussion was recorded and is scheduled to be featured on Orbital as a podcast early next year.

We had 3D Printer demonstrations taking place throughout the day, engaging and entertaining visitors, who also had fun with the 3D goggles.

The 3D Printer - guest star at Westminster Reference Library's Enterprise Fair, November 2015

The 3D Printer – guest star!

We enjoyed the day and especially the opportunity to promote Westminster Libraries Business Information Point services and our special collections in fashion, art & design and performing arts here at Westminster Reference Library. We would like to thank everyone who took part and supported the Enterprise Fair.

[Eveleen]

Win yourself a Masterclass!

Westminster Libraries Business Information PointsTo celebrate Westminster Enterprise Week 16 -21 November (to coincide with Global Enterprise Week), Westminster Libraries Business Information Points are offering a unique opportunity to 40 young entrepreneurs aged between 17 and 28 years old to attend one of two special Masterclasses (each worth £300) presented by popular Social Media Trainer Amber Raney-Kincade, in addition to being featured in the Westminster Reporter magazine.

This opportunity is open to anyone running a business or self-employed, in any industry from dog walking to doing business online, from craft making to baking cakes. If you or anyone you know are interested, then start pitching yourself and your business now!

All you need to do is tell us:

  • What is your business background?
  • What stage is your business at?
  • What is your inspiration?
  • Do you have a business plan?
  • Do you have a business coach or mentor?
  • How are you funding your business start-up?
  • How do you promote your business?

We look forward very much to hearing from you. Email your replies to: bip@westminster.gov.uk – Closing date 9 Nov 2015

*Please note: winners can attend one Masterclass only. Please indicate which Masterclass you wish to attend (details below).
*By signing up to attend, you agree to be contacted by Westminster BIPs and the Communication Team. Your business journey will be used to promote BIPs services and support.

Amber Raney-Kincade


About the Masterclasses:

Pitch yourself
at Westminster Reference Library, Wednesday 18 November, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Someone asks you, “What is your business?” If you can’t explain it in a concise way, they won’t understand it. If they have money to fund it, you’ve just lost out! This two hour masterclass will explain the details of how to write a solid, informative and interesting pitch for your business. You will learn:

  • what is an elevator pitch
  • how to write an elevator pitch
  • what is the difference between a good and bad pitch
  • how can you adapt your pitch to the audience/listener

Never again will you need to worry when someone asks that question, because you know how to answer it professionally! This masterclass is suitable for those who have a solid business idea and are either ready to promote or just getting started.

Targeting Your Audience & Defining your Marketing Mix
at Church Street Library, Friday 20 November, 10.30am – 12.30pm

You have a business idea, and you think “this will be perfect for everybody”. Think again! By trying to sell your idea to the world, you’ve got alot of work to do. When you look at the potential audience for your business in smaller segments, you can focus your marketing and messaging to them specifically, and get a greater response. In this masterclass, you will learn:

  • what are audience demographics and how they should matter to your business
  • how to define who your potential customer really is, and understand how they act
  • make better decisions on how to reach your real potential customer
  • avoid time consuming and expensive marketing pitfalls

By getting your target right, you will avoid wasting precious time and money on the wrong audience.


We look forward very much to hearing from you. Email your replies to: bip@westminster.gov.uk – Closing date 9 Nov 2015

Comic Club update

There have been two recent special events, as well as the regular meetings:

Breaking into Comics 3. Image: Theo Mabayoje for Industry in the Streets (IITS) www.industryinthestreets.co.uk

Breaking into Comics vol 3

After two successful editions of Breaking into Comics our third and final volume for 2015 had to be something extra special.

Between Westminster’s Business Information Points, Westminster Reference Library and Marylebone Graphic Novel Club, we were able to gather a panel of industry experts specifically selected for their success at diversifying their skills in graphic novel production to engage new audiences:

  • Lewis Peake is an illustrator and filmmaker based in London who shared his experience both as an illustrator creating film storyboards and visuals as well as film production.
    www.lewispeake.com
  • Adam Vian – illustrator, animator and Flash Games designer of SFB Games, he is also the man behind the delightful all-ages fantasy Long Lost Lempi.
    Tom Vian – As the programming half of SFB Games, Tom has been making games with the artistic half – his brother Adam – for over 13 years.
    www.sfbgames.com
  • Nigel Twumasi – founder of Mayamada, a company that blends the best of Looney Tunes, Japanese TV and British streetwear. Nigel shared his experience as a a founding member of a startup developing a brand as both retailers and story-tellers. Mayamada produces their own line of clothing, comic books and even uniquely flavoured chocolate bars all bearing the faces of their own characters.
    www.mayamada.com

Comic book fans, budding writers, artists and those interested in creative literature were present to meet them and take part in our presentation and Q&A.

The Essence of Comic Book Storytelling. Image: Theo Mabayoje for Industry in the Streets (IITS) www.industryinthestreets.co.uk

The Essence of Comic Book Storytelling

Hosted by artist Shangomola Edunjobi and writer Emanuel Adelekun, this interactive workshop was aimed at anyone wanting to improve their written and artistic story telling skills.

Selling out with a week to spare, attendees were keen to see what new skills could be acquired in the art of storytelling and Shango and Manny delivered in full. The session was broken up into two main parts: The first half focused on certain principles and concepts that aided good storytelling, the second half focused on applying these concepts and producing a story that can be further developed.

Shango and Manny worked seamlessly together, and showed the creative processes behind both past and future short-story projects.
Keep an eye out for more workshops coming in the near future.

All above images: Theo Mabayoje for Industry in the Streets (IITS) www.industryinthestreets.co.uk


DMZThe next Marylebone Library Graphic Novel Club meeting is on Wednesday 2 September, on War in Comics. We’ll be discussing anything from Battlefield Action or Fightin’ Marines to DMZ or MCU’s Civil War.

We’ll also be reviewing previous meeting topics on race in comics, banned comics and as ever, discussions will be varied and relaxed so please join us for a conversation, some snacks and some good reads.

[Clint] 

 

Volunteer story

One of our volunteers at Westminster Reference Library‘s Business Information Point tells us about how and why he is volunteering and what he has gained from the experience:

Naseem, the latest BIP volunteer at Westminster Reference Library“Hello, my name is Naseem and I’m 18 years old. I attended a business breakfast at Westminster City Hall where I met Eveleen (who works at Westminster Reference Library) who told me about the Business Information Points.

At present I am studying a BTEC Business Level 3 qualification at City of Westminster College and am planning to go to university in September to do Business Management. I have an aspiration of one day becoming a project manager.

“I was interested in doing volunteer work at the library and am now working at Westminster Reference Library every Friday. I began last November and so far I am familiarising myself with various aspects of the library and the Business Information Point. I joined the library and have already borrowed some of the business books from the lending collection and learnt about the way the books are classified using Dewey Decimal Classification.

My duties begin each week with shelf tidying which includes putting the books in order and tidying the business magazines. I then use and explore the various online business databases available from the library. This is a good way of getting to know the BIP and collections. I will be using the business databases for my college assignments now and in future when I am in university.

Through my volunteer work I have already learnt new things and have developed my initiative & skills through carrying out a range of different tasks within the library. While I will soon go on work placement organised by my college, I hope to be able to continue my volunteer work at the library.”

[Naseem]

Westminster BiPs logoYou can find out more about volunteering in Westminster Libraries and about the Business Information Points.

The BIPs run a full programme of events – visit Eventbrite for details.

Doing the business at Westminster Reference Library

Ever wanted to borrow business books from Westminster Reference Library? Well, now you can!

Launch of the business ending collection at Westminster Reference Library, September 2013Another milestone in the history of Westminster’s Business Information Point (BIP) project: We started with a single BIP in 2008 at Westminster Reference Library, which later grew and expanded to include three more libraries, the so-called ‘MiniBIPs’, located at Paddington, Pimlico and Church Street libraries. All four sites offer excellent support for established businesses and would-be entrepreneurs, including business books and journals, online business databases and events with networking opportunities.

The idea for the Business Lending Collection was sparked by our customers who regularly requested to borrow our excellent business books. As a long-established reference library this was not our normal practice, but we thought “Why not?” The ongoing BIP project gave us an opportunity to establish a small business lending collection. Since this was a new terrain for us, we took inspiration from the excellent lending collections held at the other BIP libraries.

The launch party was well attended and everyone was delighted with the new service which was thought to be long-awaited and necessary.

Launch of the business ending collection at Westminster Reference Library, September 2013We celebrated the launch of this new Business Lending Collection with guest author Barbara Anderson who signed copies of her book ‘Manage On Nil Every Year: How to make sure every pound you spend makes sense!‘ – one of the books now available for loan.

[Zsuzsanna]

M.O.N.E.Y.

Paddington Library hosts monthly talks for the local business community, who wish to see their business grow and to network with other budding entrepreneurs – exchanging tips, advice and generally supporting each other. This is part of the library’s role as one of Westminster’s Business Information Points.

Manage On Nil Every Year, by Barbara AndersonThe most recent event was led by author Barbara Anderson, who gave an inspiring and spirited presentation about her new book ‘Manage On Nil Every Year – how to make sure every pound you spend makes sense’. Across six chapters, the book covers:savings, investments, protection, borrowings, debt solutions, and ‘the watchmen’.

The presentation was made jointly with Barbara’s publisher and the two of them did a question and answer session – there were questions about her career and background and how she came to set up her own company. Barbara talked about networking to build up a client base, and how it’s not an easy task to set up a business if you do not have much collateral or money to support you  – but with a positive, can-do approach it IS worth it!

Barbara Anderson at Paddington Library, August 2013Barbara has a loyal ‘fan club’ and many attendees were from across London and had never been to Paddington Library before. It was great to welcome so many new faces.

If you missed this talk and it appeals to you, come along to Pimlico Library – another of our Business Information Points – on 19 September when Barbara will be speaking again.

[Laurence]