Inspiring Entrepreneurs: high street heroes (live screening at BIPC Leeds)

Tuesday 21th June

Join the live screening of the British Library’s Business & IP Centre Inspiring Entrepreneurs event – featuring local high street heroes


Come along to our live screening from the British Library to hear from small business owners who have founded their own retail business. The panel of inspiring entrepreneurs will share practical tips through their inspiring stories and talk us through their individual start-up journeys.

At the event there’ll be the chance for networking and refreshments before the screening begins.

  • 17.45 – doors open, networking and refreshments
  • 18.15 – welcome from our BIPC Leeds team
  • 18.30 – live screening
  • 20.00 – close.

Meet the panellists:

Mary Otumahana, award-winning musician and founder of The RecordShop; a grassroots independent organisation based in Wood Green, that focuses on making an impact with a multipurpose music space located on the high street. By providing access to a recording studio and music career training, Mary is leading a mission to educate, inform and inspire inner-city youths to connect to their community through music.

Hellen Stirling-Baker, founder of children’s store Small Stuff has led her business from an experimental pop-up shop to a successful, eco-friendly bricks and clicks model at the heart of her high street in Crookes, Sheffield. A perfect example that being a small shop doesn’t mean you can’t have big values, Hellen is a local leader who champions ethical suppliers and supports other retailers, often sharing her shop for community-building events. Hellen is the deserved winner of this year’s High Street Hero for the Small Awards 2022.

Carolynn Bain, founder of Afori Books , the first Black-owned bookshop in Brighton. Carolynn almost did the opposite of most during the pandemic; inspired to stock only Black authors in response to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, she started her business as an online shop. Demand was so high however, that Afrori Books was approached to open a physical bookshop in Lighthouse, a local Arts-based charity, with fit-out costs successfully crowdfunded.

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