With wide-spread home internet and decreasing public funding, libraries may seem like a relic of the past. But these local hubs of knowledge still offer amazing, completely free resources that you can use to grow your business. This is your toolbox for five free ways the library helps entrepreneurs.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ways the library helps entrepreneurs.

With wide-spread home internet and decreasing public funding, libraries may seem like a relic of the past. But these local hubs of knowledge still offer amazing, completely free resources that you can use to grow your business. This is your toolbox for five free ways the library helps entrepreneurs.

 

Amenities

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Libraries almost all offer free Wi-Fi, computer access, meeting rooms, and inexpensive printers and faxes. If your small business is home-based or if you just need a quiet space to get work done, your local library has many amenities for you to use.

Workshops and Classes

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Libraries often sponsor space and resources for organizations like SCORE to host workshops, classes, and mentoring. Some even have business resource information centers which can provide you with even more resources, information, and organizations to get assistance from. Your local branch may not advertise these, so make sure to ask directly. If they don’t, consider giving back to your community and hosting one yourself for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Research

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The most obvious way libraries can help you is through their vast inventory of books, periodicals, and research librarians. If mentoring isn’t right for you – or you just want to learn for yourself – you can easily research any business topic you need to brush up on.

Advertising

How much it costs: Low-cost

What it does: Many libraries have bulletin boards that allow you to post flyers and small adverts for your small business. Some are even starting to offer low-cost advertising opportunities (such as in windows, on bookmarks, in restrooms, etc.) for local businesses to combat declining library funding. You can also host your own workshops, offer mentoring, or donate your services to other library events in exchange for getting the word out and networking with potential customers.

Fairs and Expositions

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Occasionally, a large library will host a craft fair or STEM exposition to support local businesses and library patrons. Keep an eye out for these opportunities to offer your products and connect with new audiences.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org