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Human Lending Library opens second branch in Manchester

Expert Impact will match social entrepreneurs with successful business people for mentoring

The Human Lending Library®, which matches charity and social enterprise leaders with successful entrepreneurs as mentors, has opened in Manchester.

Launched by the charity Expert Impact, the initiative has seen more than 200 leaders of social enterprises and charities ‘borrow’ an Expert for advice on improving their organisations and increasing their social impact.

Expert mentors include the founders of Pret-a-Manger (Julian Metcalfe), The White Company (Chrissie Rucker), Carphone Warehouse (Sir Charles Dunstone) and Mumsnet (Carrie Longton).

Until now the initiative has solely operated out of the British Library in Kings Cross, London. The Manchester branch, which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will be the first of several new branches to be announced over the next 12 months.

“After proving the model works in London, we are delighted we can expand the reach of the Human Lending Library by making it more accessible to organisations creating positive social and environmental impact in the north of the UK,” said Kendra Walsh, Director of Expert Impact.

Social enterprises that have used the Human Lending Library include Change Please, a coffee company that trains and employs homeless people as baristas, Harry Specters, a company staffed by people with autism and OLIO, an app connecting neighbours to combat food waste.

The Manchester branch of the Human Lending Library will be run from the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) at Manchester Central Library.

As well as offering access to industry-standard information resources, BIPC Manchester delivers talks, workshops, demonstrations and networking opportunities, plus one-to-one advice at patent and IP, accountancy, and commercial legal clinics.

The recent “Democratising Entrepreneurship” report, issued by Arts Council England, revealed that from 2016 – 2019, BIPC Manchester helped to create nearly 2,000 new businesses, generating a payback of £6.95 for every £1 of public money spent.

“This new partnership with Expert Impact is a great way for our flourishing Business & Intellectual Property Centre at Central Library to further bolster the range of support it provides to local businesses and enterprises, with this attractive offer for those who are working to improve our communities and the environment in Manchester,” said Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure.

Founders or CEOs of social enterprises and charities can “borrow” one of more than 40 business experts, for free, to seek advice on business or organisational challenges.

Social entrepreneurs are matched to experts according to the particular business challenge they want to address.