Library service wins prestigious award for inspiring young entrepreneurs
Staff at Oxfordshire County Council have been recognised for their work to inspire young entrepreneurs by winning a prestigious award.
Th national Libraries Connected Award celebrates the achievements of library workers who have had an exceptional impact on their library service, users or their local communities.
The county council’s Oxfordshire Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) team, based in Oxford Central Library in Westgate, won the children’s award at the ceremony on 20 June 2023 for its work engaging hundreds of new youth participants aged eight to 25 in enterprising activities.
Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety, said: “It’s great news that our BIPC team has been recognised for its brilliant work over the past two years. I hope that the work has inspired many to follow their dreams.
“Much of what is on offer at our BIPC is free of charge. . By providing free resources and support, we can give people in Oxfordshire an extra hand to make their dreams a reality and help their businesses thrive.”
The BIPC team has introduced hundreds of children and young people to entrepreneurship through workshops, networking events and one to one business information sessions in its cutting-edge facilities, which include a marketing suite, VR headsets, interactive TVs and market research databases.
Through strong partnerships with local schools, universities, charities and the youth justice system, BIPC also hopes to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and offers positive opportunities to those at risk of youth violence or criminal exploitation.
Isobel Hunter MBE, Chief Executive of Libraries Connected, said: “These awards highlight the incredible opportunities libraries offer to their communities. But more importantly they recognise the people that make that possible – the library workers who show such dedication, creativity and innovation every day. The winners are a credit to their library services and to the public library sector as a whole. Huge congratulations to them all.”
The winners were chosen by expert judges including crime writer Priscilla Masters and children’s author Cathy Cassidy. The judging panels also included Arts Council England, The Reading Agency, BBC Arts and OverDrive, creator of the Libby reading app for libraries, who sponsored the awards.
The BIPC is a specialist library service delivered with the support of The British Library as part of a national network of similar centres. It provides high-quality information and resources, guidance, and networking activities to support a wide range of developing businesses and entrepreneurs.
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