Best Practices

Great Minds Think Alike: Dallas B.R.A.I.N. Launches an Innovative Partnership for Entrepreneurs

Published Sep 30, 2015 by Sarah Mote

Dallas B.R.A.I.N., partnership between libraries and economic development for entrepreneursCall it a brilliant B.R.A.I.N. storm for entrepreneurs—in Dallas, Texas, the public library is joining the City of Dallas’ Office of Economic Development to launch a mastermind of an innovative partnership: the Dallas Business Resource And Information Network (B.R.A.I.N.). The Dallas B.R.A.I.N. will be the new vehicle for the City of Dallas to promote entrepreneurial literacy and local business development, via the 28 library branches spread throughout the city of Dallas.

Focused on building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Dallas B.R.A.I.N. maintains a network of nonprofit service providers, government resources and educational institutions that will be accessible through an interactive website powered by U.S.SourceLink. The program will assist in delivering timely business education, resources and programming to the masses via the Dallas Public Library system.

Karl Zavitkovsky, director of the Dallas Office of Economic Development explained the origins of the new program. He cited the difficulty of a city government trying to provide direct services to entrepreneurs, but that there are important areas for the City to show its support of these small firms.

“We went through a facilitated conversation with the small business and startup communities. That process clarified where the City is well positioned to play a role. We can provide information, foster collaboration and market the entire ecosystem to the business communities here in Dallas and nationally. The new brand calls direct attention to all the groups doing small and startup business development“.

Dallas has more than 160,000 small businesses, many of which do not have access to quality resources and information. Some of the challenges to connecting these small business owners is Dallas’ size and the great diversity of industries and communities.

With the help of U.S.SourceLink’s tools and consulting, the library system provides a ready-made platform that has the trust of the residents. With this new platform the Dallas B.R.A.I.N. will promote resources across the city, assess client needs and refer them to the right resource, at the right time. Workshops and counseling will also be delivered through the library system by Dallas B.R.A.I.N. partners who specialize in those areas.

“We are thrilled about the new partnership,” said Library Director Jo Giudice. “Around the country, more and more business owners are looking to their public libraries for business resources and information. We are looking forward to being able to better meet the demand observed here in Dallas for ways to figure out the small business and self-employment equation. Entrepreneurship is a form of literacy.”

To learn more and attend the official launch celebration on October 1, visit at