Belsize entrepreneur joins forces with community library to boost local businesses

Simon Squibb and Belsize Community Library's Lucy Telfer. Picture: Connor Wells

Simon Squibb and Belsize Community Library's Lucy Telfer. Picture: Connor Wells - Credit: Archant

A “serial entrepreneur” from Belsize Park is working with the local charity-run library to raise its profile and offer free business advice to local people.

Simon Squibb, 46, started his first business when he was kicked out of school and his home at 15.

Now, after selling a business to accountancy giants PwC, he’s looking to give local would-be entrepreneurs a helping hand and the Belsize Community Library (BCL) a boost.

He founded the Purposeful Project earlier this year, and his aim is to help one million people start their own businesses. As part of this goal, he’s working with BCL to create a business advice hub and remind people of the power of a good library.

READ MORE: The Winch: Swiss Cottage community centre launches ‘Save Our Summer’ campaignSimon told the Ham&High: “I’ve realised a lot of people out there don’t realise they are entrepreneurs. And it felt especially relevant right now with so many people looking for jobs after being affected by the pandemic.”

He decided to try to create “useful content” – he is now recording a podcast called the Good Luck Club which is designed to interrogate business success. Guests so far have included Made In Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews.

He is recording the podcast at BCL and hopes to, albeit virtually to start with, run “office hours” sessions to help dish out advice.

“Libraries are amazing,” he said. “A library is one of the only places where you can go in and no-one is expecting you to pay for anything.

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“I felt, by partnering with Belsize Community Library, I could bring something fresh and new. I think the idea is the same, people get to share knowledge for free.”

Simon also called on local business owners to get in touch with him and the library and share their expertise, and said he hoped budding entrepreneurs would get in touch.

Lucy Telfer, who manages the library for local community charity the Winch, said she was delighted by the partnership. She said: “Our focus has always been to support the community here in Belsize Park the best we can.

“This really is a unique opportunity for the local community. The last six months have been particularly hard for so many people, and this is one way in which the community can fight back against the economic effects.”