Small Business Growth Through Libraries

map of the share of employees working at small businesses in Texas by county
chart of the number of business applications in Texas

Did you know that Texas was named Best State for Business 19 years in a row so far, and that according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2023 Small Business Profile, 99.8% of businesses in Texas are small businesses, which create opportunities for 44.5% of Texas employees (4.9 million workers)? As the chart to the left shows, applications to open a business in Texas have been on the rise, and if you want to enhance or start a program for entrepreneurs of all ages, engage more with the business community, or infuse an entrepreneurial spirit among staff at your library, TSLAC has resources available for libraries to borrow that can help them support small business owners in their communities. There’s something valuable to find in all of the books listed below, available through TSLAC’s catalog:

  • Teaching Business Information Literacy
  • The Entrepreneur Guide (U.S.) 2010 ed.
  • Intrapreneurship Handbook for Librarians: How to Be a Change Agent in Your Library
  • The LITA Leadership Guide: The Librarian as Entrepreneur, Leader, and Technologist

Take a look at the supplementary business book recommendations listed in the EntreLib Pitch Perfect Workshop article, and it’s also worth it to use the Libraries Build Business Communication Toolkit, which has a customizable 15-minute presentation template (includes an editable script), as well as templates for emails, flyers, and much more, that you can take advantage of when pitching to elected officials, businesses, and other organizations. Also, the Urban Libraries Council’s toolkit has plenty of strategies you can use to take your library to the next level as an entrepreneurial hub and maximize its reach in your community. Lastly, make sure you use the tips shared by Jennifer Gibson from St. Louis County Library in her article Worth It: Our Small Business Value Calculator; in it, you’ll find a framework you can utilize to calculate and articulate how advantageous it is for entrepreneurs to use your library’s resources.

Using the information provided above, you’ll be equipped to effectively communicate your library’s key role and value to your community’s economy and prosperity. If you know of any other helpful business resources, please share them in the comment section below.

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