South Yorkshire and the British Library’s National Network of Business & IP Centres are transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses. We’re supporting a thriving community of bright and inspiring people in South Yorkshire by partnering with local libraries all over the UK.

Cate Fearn struggled with the forced style of learning when she was young, causing her to feel that she wasn’t clever enough to be good at maths. As a teacher, Cate was determined she wouldn’t subject any children she taught to this debilitating and outdated practice.

Wanting to be able to offer teachers a resource and approach that supported the teaching and learning of times tables which was grounded in deep understanding, Cate created the Tables Stick. She developed the product from a metre stick with post-it notes to produce a high quality, easy to use teaching tool.

Following in-school trials of the prototype, Cate realised she needed to find out how to best protect her product before it was exposed to the big, wide world. Here’s where Sheffield Libraries Business & IP Centre came to the rescue!

Cate said: “The help I received was invaluable, as they carried out a trademark search for me, answered my many questions and guided and supported me through how to go about protecting my brand using trademark. The help I received enabled me to successfully protect Tables Stick with trademark, and therefore feel more confident moving forwards to launch and market my product.”

Find out more about Tables Stick online –

You may not have thought that you have Intellectual Property (IP) that you need to protect, or you may have always been under the impression that it’s something you can think about later. All businesses or creatives will have some IP, whether it’s an invention, brand, product or design. To be successful and grow your business, understanding what it is that is unique about you is crucial and that’s where we come in. We can help you to gain an understanding of the vital role of trademarks, copyright, registered designs, and patents in protecting your business.

We can also help you understand your market trends and maintain a competitive edge by sizing up your business opportunity. Having a greater understanding of your marketplace from the very start will enable you to create a sound business strategy to establish and grow your brand into one that’s better than the competition. Businesses who undertake research when setting up a business are twice as likely to succeed beyond three years. If you’re looking to grow your business and plan for the future, we can help you, with resources worth more than £5 million, freely available to you in libraries across South Yorkshire.

Find out more

Offering insights and access to free resources, clinics and events, we’ll help you imagine, start or develop your business. Whether you’re just setting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property, or simply have a brilliant idea you want to discuss, we’re here to guide you.

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