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Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs

Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs

In May 2018, ULC launched this initiative in collaboration with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to strengthen the role public libraries play in nurturing and promoting entrepreneurship in their communities. The initiative is designed to:

  • Leverage and develop the library’s unique assets and capacities to create hubs for entrepreneurship
  • Advance equity and community economic health by increasing support for all entrepreneurs and particularly women, people of color, immigrants and veterans.

Read national media coverage:

Click here to read ULC's press release on the launch of this initiative​​

New Entrepreneurship Toolkit

ULC’s latest resource, Closing the Entrepreneurship Gap: Tools for Libraries, offers strategies and resources to help libraries level-up as entrepreneurial hubs, including COVID-19 responses.

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Starting one’s own business may soon become the most viable path to achieving the American dream. Knowing this, ULC is bringing together 12 public library systems from across the U.S. and Canada to explore ways libraries can reach and engage entrepreneurs in their communities — particularly people of color, women, immigrants and veterans.

Participant Library Projects

ULC's Leadership Brief on Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs

This Leadership Brief focuses on the public library’s role as an essential resource for entrepreneurs and core component of local entrepreneurial ecosystems. It highlights the exciting work already underway in libraries to advance the entrepreneurial spirit and identifies seven strategies for library leaders to become more intentional about implementing programs that support local economic development goals and reach potential entrepreneurs most in need of guidance and encouragement.

Summary of ULC's National Scan on How Libraries Are Currently Supporting Entrepreneurs

With the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, conducted a national scan of how libraries are currently supporting entrepreneurs in their communities. The purpose of this scan was to develop a baseline of information about the state of library entrepreneurial practice in order to identify specific models and promising approaches for further study.

Initiative Snapshot

A quick look at what our initiative is doing, who is participating and why this work matters.

Learning Cohort Snapshot

Discover how the library systems that participated in ULC’s Entrepreneurship Learning Cohort explored new ways to reach and engage potential entrepreneurs and support local economic development priorities.

ULC Member Survey Snapshot

In 2018, ULC surveyed our members to assess how they have been impacted by ULC’s work to strengthen public libraries as entrepreneurial hubs. Discover key discoveries from the survey results.

Stay tuned for additional updates on this developing initiative.