Skip To The Main Content
11 October 2018

How being more FSB can enrich lives and enhance business

blur-close-up-composition-760724

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) prides itself on being a member-led organisation. This is what makes it the leading voice of the 5.7 million small businesses and the self-employed in the UK. The organisation, which was founded more than 40 years ago, is a powerful voice heard in governments at all levels, as well as offering its members a range of inclusive benefits to positively impact on the day-to-day running of their businesses.

For example, whilst continuing to campaign to end the late payments crisis, FSB also offers its members access to an effective bespoke debt recovery service. Whilst it successfully called for the bank referral scheme, it offers members business banking and access to an exclusive alternative finance (fintech) platform as part of a membership package.more than 40 years ago, is a powerful voice heard in governments at all levels, as well as offering its members a range of inclusive benefits to positively impact on the day-to-day running of their businesses.

"Members also have access to hundreds of interesting events across the UK each year which stimulate learning and networking opportunities. Many find these valuable to their own businesses."

Why do members get involved as local FSB volunteers?
There are lots of ways for members to get involved and be more FSB, at different levels. From being part of FSB’s online survey community, Big Voice, to joining its Women in Enterprise Taskforce; and from acting as a case study for media opportunities to signing letters or emails to MPs, MSPs or local councillors; right up to standing for election* to represent members’ interests in their area or standing for election to join the UK board. The volunteer elections for 2018/19 open on 1 October.

Those who volunteer for FSB at local level (area leaders; regional chairs; and national councillors) say that they find the experience immensely fulfilling and rewarding. It opens them up to an array of new people and experiences, and they are always fully guided and supported by their FSB development manager.

Many are driven by an enthusiasm to create more contacts within their local business community. Volunteers often work with their FSB development manager to develop exciting networking or speaking events in the local area. These may range from Women in Business Brunches, to business shows. Many say they thrive in playing a part in encouraging businesses from their local communities to enter into the annual FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards and celebrate with them.

The activities that a local FSB volunteer can do are very varied and flexible – suited to a typical small business owner or self-employed person. They can decide how much or how little time they spend on FSB activities that fits around running their business and other commitments they have. They all always have the support and guidance of FSB’s team of highly experienced area and local development managers.

"It is recognised that members who volunteer for local leadership roles have their own businesses to run alongside their volunteer activity. FSB staff are sensitive to this and our structure is designed to support and reflect these competing demands on volunteers’ time."

Most local volunteers say that volunteering with FSB adds so much to their lives, giving them a real sense of satisfaction, and it feels good that they are making a real difference. Volunteering also offers the opportunity to meet some fascinating members along the way and because the development manager is always on hand with a brief or guidance they never feel out of depth. Many admit that the skills they develop and the people they meet can also sometimes add to their own businesses.

Typically, activities could include opportunities to join a local radio interview about some new FSB research on a key policy issue important in their area – anything from potholes to Brexit, or from bank branch closures to business rates. They will have received media training, briefings and support from FSB staff.

Another day could entail joining a video conferencing call with other FSB area leads in the region about some cross-area work on procurement. There are often opportunities to represent members at an MP or MSP roundtable, or visit local businesses affected by events that could have an impact on small businesses, such as fire or flooding, to see what FSB can do to support them.

Find out how you can #BeMoreFSB and volunteer with us at fsb.org.uk/volunteer

*Eligible members.