Facilitating global entrepreneurship and driving innovation through co-creation in libraries

Libraries have always been instrumental in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, and in today’s globalized world, their role has become more crucial than ever before. In this article, we explore how libraries can facilitate global entrepreneurship and drive innovation.

University Libraries as partners in open innovation for global entrepreneurship

Libraries have a long history of disseminating knowledge for the betterment of society, and they have also contributed to building national economies by supporting entrepreneurial activities, especially for small- and medium-sized companies.

The dynamic business environment and continuous technological innovation require libraries to continuously innovate their services towards fostering entrepreneurship, using an entrepreneurial mindset that pursues innovation for existing services by discovering and pursuing hidden opportunities. Libraries need to exhibit characteristics such as ‘opportunism, creativity, persistence, connect-the-dots thinking, and risk-taking’ to continuously provide value to customers, especially business entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial libraries possess significant potential for promoting innovation among start-ups in both stable and turbulent periods. They serve as a valuable source of comprehensive market information, enabling start-ups to make sound business decisions. The alliance between libraries and start-ups is a mutually beneficial, long-lasting partnership. Start-ups can capitalize on the wide-ranging resources available through the entrepreneurial libraries’ virtual global network, while simultaneously contributing to the libraries’ growth and expansion.

At the same time, libraries offer excellent assistance to entrepreneurs, but it is crucial for them to recognize that there are discrepancies in terminology between the business and library domains, which may impede the exchange of knowledge. Entrepreneurs must take it upon themselves to express their requirements in a language that libraries can comprehend. One approach is to use storytelling or prototypes to illustrate the business context, business problem, and other relevant business-related aspects that align with the start-up’s global expansion objectives.

Using library social networks to facilitate globalization of startup businesses through collaborative partnerships

Library social networking sites (SNS) can promote the globalization of startup businesses through strategic partnerships. In specific, libraries, as part of the innovation ecosystem, can assist startups in accessing global markets by providing resources and expertise, and their social networking sites can be used as a platform for knowledge sharing and gathering market data.

Furthermore, libraries with their social media presence, can serve as valuable sources of knowledge for international markets. As startups ‘navigate’ in an ever-changing global market, the support provided by libraries becomes increasingly crucial to help them capitalize on opportunities and overcome volatility. Establishing strategic partnerships with libraries can offer startups a competitive edge. Effective communication between startups and library staff, along with the latter’s ability to derive relevant information via social media, plays also a significant role in shaping these alliances.

According to a research conducted across Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia, university librarians have a positive perception of the usefulness and ease of using SNS to achieve their business objectives. This perception is primarily based on their prolonged personal use of SNS technology, which contributes to the perceived usefulness (PU). Additionally, as the research highlights, the perceived ease of use (PEU) is influenced by the continually improving user-friendliness and quality of SNS technology. In fact, librarians are likely to overcome their resistance to using SNS for market research to support the business community, due to the prolonged use of SNS technology, the increasing brand entry in the market, and to the continuous improvement of SNS quality.

In conclusion, libraries play a critical role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, and their significance has only increased in today’s globalized world. By continuously innovating their services and exhibiting an entrepreneurial mindset, libraries can facilitate the growth of start-ups in both stable and turbulent times. Through collaborative partnerships and the use of social networking sites, libraries can assist start-ups in accessing global markets and gathering market data. Effective communication between start-ups and library staff is vital in establishing and maintaining these partnerships. As libraries continue to improve their user-friendliness and quality of service, it is likely that they will become even more valuable resources for entrepreneurs seeking to expand their businesses on a global scale.