Main Library Offering Free Business Classes

Photo by Walker Evans.

The Learning Lab at the Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave., is rolling out its fall lineup of business classes. Free to attend, the workshops connect aspiring business owners with the business-building technology and resources available through the Library.

The programming, which runs through November, represents a new direction for the Library’s business classes.

“We adopted our new class model to better introduce the Library’s online resources to aspiring business owners,” says Business Librarian Kimberly White. “Instead of one resource-packed class, we’ve broken it up into three workshops. The first focuses on starting a small business, the second on market research and the third is a guest speaker series that features established small business owners and community presenters.”

Starting a Small Business highlights library and community resources beneficial to new business owners. Attendees learn about the personal advising services and workshops available at the Small Business Development Center, as well as other state resources.

“The majority of the class focuses on exclusive library resources that provide examples of business plans, up-to-date industry overviews, and we teach how to research companies and competitors,” White says. “Throughout the class, attendees will have dedicated time to get their hands dirty and actually use the resources, making them easier to jump back into once they walk out our door.”

A Columbus Metropolitan Library card is all it takes to access the library’s premium resources for performing market research. Helping business owners navigate a multitude of information analyzing demographic data, regional data, consumer spending information, market segments and more, “A Google search might get you some of the information, but most entrepreneurs aren’t data analysts, and even the most general market reports can cost several thousand dollars,” White says. “Columbus Metropolitan Library has premium resources that can help you find this information from reliable sources.”

The class equips business owners with knowledge on how to access industry profiles and trends, read market segmentation reports and more.

A new entrepreneur or resource provider will share their expertise every month during Experience Entrepreneurship. Topics will cover the startup experience, to marketing, to financing and funding.

Outside of the workshops, the library offers other resources for entrepreneurs. Grants for Nonprofits covers resources for growing and sustaining a nonprofit organization, and Grants for Individuals provides resources for grants to artists, students and researchers from foundations, institutions, government and corporate sponsors.

Classes are underway, with the first Experience Entrepreneurship speaker lined up for tomorrow, Tuesday, September 26. Find the full class schedule below:

Starting a Small Business – Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

  • October 10
  • November 7

Market Research for Entrepreneurs – Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

  • October 17
  • November 14

Experience Entrepreneurship: Business Speaker Series – Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

  • September 26 – The Business Startup Experience featuring Kaylee Schanz, Founder & Owner of Florish
  • October 24 – Marketing Your Business for Success featuring Rebecca Ritchey, Social Media Manager
  • November 21 – Small Business Finance and Funding featuring Jerome Jones, Certified Business Advisor

Grants for Nonprofits 

Monday, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

  • October 9
  • November 6

Wednesday, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

  • September 27
  • October 25
  • November 29

Grants for Individuals

Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

  • October 11
  • November 8

Thursday, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

  • September 28
  • October 26
  • November 30

Condensed versions of the classes will be held at select branches. All classes are free to attended and registration is not required.

For more information, visit the Events page at