The Human Lending Library opens in Manchester

The free service connecting charity and social enterprise leaders with successful entrepreneurs such as the founders of Carphone Warehouse, Pret-a-Manger and The White Company will operate from Manchester’s Central Library.

The Human Lending Library®, which matches charity and social enterprise leaders with successful entrepreneurs as mentors, has opened in Manchester.

Launched by the charity Expert Impact, the initiative has seen more than 200 leaders of social enterprises and charities ‘borrow’ an Expert for advice on improving their organisations and increasing their social impact.

Expert mentors include the founders of Pret-a-Manger, The White Company, Carphone Warehouse and Mumsnet.

Until now the initiative has solely operated out of the British Library in Kings Cross, London. The Manchester branch, which is supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery, will be the first of several new branches to be announced over the next 12 months.

“After proving the model works in London, we are delighted we can expand the reach of the Human Lending Library by making it more accessible to organisations creating positive social and environmental impact in the north of the UK,” said Kendra Walsh, Director of Expert Impact.

Social enterprises that have used the Human Lending Library include Change Please, a coffee company that trains and employs homeless people as baristas, Harry Specters, a company company staffed by people with autism and OLIO, an app connecting neighbours to combat food waste.

The Manchester branch of the Human Lending Library will be run from the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) at Manchester Central Library.

Founders or CEOs of social enterprises and charities can “borrow” one of more than 40 business experts, for free, to seek advice on business or organisational challenges.

Social entrepreneurs are matched to experts according to the particular business challenge they want to address.

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