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British Library launches website for small businesses

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The British Library Business and IP Centre has launched a website that it hopes will engage and inspire entrepreneurs. The move forms part of its ongoing web 2.0 strategy.

According to the British Library, the Centre's website offers users a simple 'how-to' guide on how the library's services can help businesses conduct market research, develop business plans, and protect their ideas.

Key features include social networking, with the website already having more than 1000 Twitter followers, 2500 Facebook group members and 640 LinkedIn group members.

From the website, users can also access so-called 'Inspiring Entrepreneurs' webcasts and put their questions to featured panellists in real time. Manager of the library's Business and IP Centre, Neil Infield, and resident patent expert, Steve Van Dulken, are both regular bloggers on the website, providing business advice.

Frances Taylor, marketing manager for the Business and IP Centre said: 'We're continually experimenting with new developments on the web, to reach out to new audiences and improve access to our resources. Social media provides a fantastic platform for us to talk directly with small businesses and to help facilitate networking.'