In 2014 research for SLQ 2020 identified strong interest within the Queensland community for SLQ to make available a centre of excellence for new entrepreneurs and innovators. The research outcome aligned strongly with the State government Advance Queensland initiative. Queensland is boosting our entrepreneurial culture by improving access to finance, new business opportunities, and management support for startups and small to medium enterprises. Brisbane City Council also declared a strategic intent of developing Brisbane as the Start-Up capital of the world.
From this background emerged SLQ's transformational innovation - our very own Minimum Viable Product (MVP) - SLQ Business Studio.
The 12 month pilot was based on design thinking principles, meaning the prototyping of the service occurred in real time with real clients and followed the Lean Start-up methodology, a core component of which is the “build-measure-learn” feedback loop. The pilot focus was on establishing the key partnerships and designing the model for a successful Business Studio at SLQ that can be adapted to use within Queensland Public Libraries or as a service to them.
The core elements facilitating the sustainability of the BS are:
Membership – Membership is free and SLQ members are upgraded to BS members to use the Studio space and receive information. The membership of the BS was over 200 within its first 6 months
Service Delivery & Collections – This element was designed along the GRAIL service model providing information navigation services to a community of interest, packaging the information and making it more widely available. Along with the information services the SLQ Business Collections were made more easily available to members.
Programs – The core of this element is to ensure that the programs designed are developed ‘for’, ‘with’ and ‘by’ the emerging business community. Ideally programs will be accessible at SLQ South Bank as well as online and regionally. Fortnightly lunchbox forums in the BS are delivered by the entrepreneurship community and local startups. These extremely successful sessions draw a slightly different audience to each event and introduce the BS to a new cohort of interested users. Topics have included social media strategy, starting a food based business and the mistakes made by a 1st year start up.
Partners – The purpose of this element is to increase discovery and attraction of partners for the Business Studio that are willing to partner financially, by providing learning services/programs, and governance/guidance to the overall Business Studio concept. In the first 6 months of the start-up a partnership with Little Tokyo Two (L2T) a collaborative co-working community was established. LT2 provide entrepreneurs from within their community to offer a no charge Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) service onsite at the SLQ BS 3 days a week. SLQ have also entered into a training partnership with Business Models Inc, an international strategy & design company that helps entrepreneurs and startups innovate their business model and design a future strategy.
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