COBRA: Complete Business Reference Advisor

COBRA contains all the information you need to turn your idea into a business.

Log on and find more than 4,000 factsheets, market reports, contacts and sources of funding and support plus hundreds of practical guides to starting up more than 350 types of business.

If your library is a member of Ask About Business you can access all areas of COBRA right now.

Simply click HERE and log in with your library ticket. If you have a library card for any of the Ask About Business member libraries, then enter your library card number.

Ideal for anyone looking to start a business, write a business or marketing plan or conduct research into a new market.  COBRA is also available at any Ask About Business library with internet PCs.

Please note the Terms & Conditions of using this service.

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Following the success of Start-Up Day back in 2020, six of the Business & IP Centres in UK libraries teamed up again to put on another great day of lively and informative presentations for new business founders. The idea was pitched when everything started to slowly open back up again so the target of attendance… Read More

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The music industry is one of the main sectors effected by the events of the last 12 months. Therefore, the Manchester Business & IP Centre arranged a live panel discussion with their friends at Leeds Business & IP Centre. This was part of the BIPC’s National Networks Reset. Restart programme, to support businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. Reset.Restart includes… Read More

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In March 2020, the lights were dimmed on Manchester’s Arts and Culture sector, with theatres, libraries, museums and arts centres being amongst the first to close their doors to the public at the start of the pandemic. With the nation in another lockdown, the future is uncertain for many cultural organisations and the freelancers who… Read More

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In 2019 Manchester City Council estimated 27,000 adults in Manchester as digitally excluded. In reality we know this number is in fact much higher with Greater Manchester Combined Authority having the 2020 headline figure for those digitally excluded across GM as 1.2 million people.  New analysis from Greater Manchester Combine Authority has found that less than half of young… Read More

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This panel event is to support those in the music and creative industries, and will be discussing how to survive in these difficult times. The music sector is one of the main sectors effected by the events of the last 12 months. This event, brought to you with our friends at the Business & IP Centre… Read More

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The first of our quarterly Scale-up sessions, our exciting collaboration between Central Library’s Business & IP Centre and Design Manchester took place recently. Aimed at start ups and small businesses, the first session on 12 November 2020 was the opening event of the DM20 Design Manchester festival. It featured an interview with DM director Kaspar de… Read More

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Hear from our customers!

I have attended three courses that I thought would benefit our business, ‘Blogging for Profit’, Video Skills for Small Businesses and Linkedin: The Essentials.’ I am a keen advocate of the courses available, and have spread the word at business networking event

The IP workshops were great in terms of accessing basic advice from experts on patent, design and trademarking and gave me very useful advice.

I came away with a bounce in my step.
Very productive seminars. I went in with little understanding and a
blank canvas with very few ideas. I came away with huge enthusiasm, pointing
me in the right direction to hopefully assist in my future success.

The library resources, staff and business centre have been really helpful with guiding us in many different areas from intellectual property rights, conducting market research, learning about email marketing

Libraries supporting start ups, entrepreneurs and jobseekers across the north west