Skip To The Main Content
20 March 2017

FSB reinvents itself with the biggest membership changes in its 40-year history

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the UK’s biggest business organisation, announces today, 20 March, that it is introducing the most major changes to its offer since it was founded in 1974.

The sweeping transformation programme sees the introduction of a range of innovative new joining categories, as well as new and additional benefits. It is the next phase in FSB’s vast rebranding exercise, which began in 2015, to ensure its stronghold as the most relevant, significant and accessible business organisation.

Dave Stallon, FSB’s commercial director, says: “When FSB was founded in 1974, we adopted the Ford maxim of ‘you can have any colour you like as long as it’s black’. We had one membership category, delivering the same benefits to all. That model worked for over 40 years, but we recognise that today’s landscape is fast-changing and we want to offer different options to different business owners, as well as to those who are thinking about starting a business, to help them achieve their ambitions.”

FSB recognises that the small business landscape is changing and diversifying. Today’s business owners have different motivations, needs and ambitions, running their businesses as part of increasingly varied lifestyles.

FSB Business Creation and FSB Business Connect are two new joining categories launching on 20 March which will sit alongside the original, but newly re-branded and enriched, FSB Business Essentials. A further joining category, FSB Business Plus, is due to launch later in the year, and a revolutionary new small business e-commerce platform, FSB Marketplace, is planned to be rolled out in the spring.

Dave Stallon comments: “There are huge opportunities for both new and existing smaller businesses at this time, and we’re committed to assisting the nation in harnessing these. Advances in tech, manufacturing techniques, infrastructure changes, exciting new exporting opportunities, consumer diversification and demand for personalisation, all bring thrilling new prospects.”

FSB Connect focuses on an expert networking offer; FSB Business Creation is designed to help people plan and launch a business; FSB Business Essentials includes a range of benefits and exclusive discounts to help businesses grow. Additional new benefits that are being added to the FSB Business Essentials package include cyber protection, enhanced legal insurance cover up to £100,000 and PR and crisis management support. These join a whole host of other, existing exclusive benefits and discounted products, from business banking to auto-enrolment.

The new FSB joining categories launching on 20 March 2017 are: 

FSB Business Essentials: This is the new name for FSB’s existing category of membership. It includes a large range of benefits, including FSB business banking, FSB insurance, FSB card payment services and products, and FSB lobbying.

FSB Connect: A new category which is open to all to join for free. Whether you are a student, apprentice, existing business owner or anyone else with an interest in small businesses this provides a first introduction to FSB. There are three benefits; access to UK wide networking events, First Voice digital communications, and the opportunity to participate in the influential Big Voice survey panel. The ability to become an FSB Connect affiliate goes live on Eventbrite and on FSB.org.uk on 20 March 2017.

FSB Business Creation: A brand new joining category that goes live on 20 March 2017 and offers a unique set of benefits for those who have not yet started their own business. Key benefits include access to business advisors, and networking opportunities. A specially developed bundle of further benefits will include everything from company formation; domain name registration; and website build, to access to market entry reports; copies of ‘First Voice’, FSB’s flagship quarterly publication, and a new FSB edition of Wiley book ‘Starting a Business’. Business Creation members will also be included in FSB’s Big Voice panel and have access to other exclusive discounted FSB products and services: FSB business banking, FSB insurance, FSB card payment services and products, for example. 

FSB Connect Networking from the FSB

Network with other members and non members from across the UK through our National and Local networking framework

Find out more