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.

Apply to the Human Lending Library
The Human Lending Library was created by the charity Expert Impact in 2013 to connect social entrepreneurs with business experts for mentoring.  You can browse all the experts taking part here.

The Manchester branch of the Human Lending Library is now managed in-house at the Business & IP Centre at the Central Library.

If you want to apply please complete this form.

Please scan the form to consider what information you will need before you start, or read the FAQs about the programme and how to apply. Your progress cannot be saved so the form has to be completed and submitted in one visit.

If successful, you will be matched for an hour of one-to-one mentoring from one of our business experts.

For your application to be successful you must be running a charity or social enterprise that makes a positive impact in one or more of the following areas: education, healthcare, the arts, scientific research, poverty alleviation, the environment.

You are required to state a specific business issue you would like help with. Successful ventures will be past the concept stage and will be either considering scaling or already in the process of doing so. For more details on eligibility please read the FAQs.

Once you have submitted the form, a member of our team will get in touch. We look forward to helping you on your journey to grow .