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Alee Navarro (staff)'s picture

Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century: A New Service Model for Entrepreneurs

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Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century: A New Service Model for Entrepreneurs
  
Speakers:

Caitlin Rietzen, Librarian II, Business Resource & Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia

Gillian Robbins

Caitlin Seifritz

Description:
The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) recently launched the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC), a new programming model which combined the resources of the nonprofit and small business assistance centers. After extensive research, BRIC staff realized there was a niche in the small business community which needed to be filled- librarianship. Whether clients were part of a larger small business development program, or did not have a university background, they often encountered problems that librarians could help them solve. Chiefly, these were finding quality, low-cost programs, evaluating which local resources would best fit their needs, and getting assistance with conducting research. The BRIC model is designed to reduce the barriers to local entrepreneurship by creating more accessible points of entry into organizational development. Staff librarians provide personal guidance to clients by engaging them in research appointments geared towards grant funding, proposal writing, demographic and market research, and competitive analysis. By maintaining strong partnerships and curating local resources, librarians guide and advise clients on area offerings to fit their organizational needs. Additionally, with resources that span the fields of for-profit and nonprofit, the BRIC is uniquely poised as a hub for social entrepreneurship in a region with great potential for local innovation. Learn how staff librarians were able to develop and launch the core of this model, as well as generate relevant data, on basically no budget.

Library Types:
Nonprofit, Public, Special

Subject Headings:
Adult Services, Advocacy, Community Engagement, Diversity, Electronic Resources, Equity of Access, Instruction, Librarianship, Networking, Organizational Change, Outreach Services, Partnerships, Project Management, Reference Services, Research and Statistics, Technology, Urban Libraries