This week (23 September), nominations open for eligible members to nominate in this year’s FSB volunteer elections. We are seeking a commercial director and non-operational directors to join me on the board, and several local volunteer offices across the UK - regional chairs; area leads and national councillors. Those eligible will receive a unique code to vote from CES (formerly Electoral Reform Services (ERS)), who are administering the elections on our behalf. For the second year running, this will enable members to take part in the online nomination process and then, later, the online voting process for both local and national volunteer opportunities. FSB is a proudly member-led organisation and all our member leaders, at both local and national level, have one thing in common – like me, they all run businesses. This means that as an organisation, we, the members, lead from the front, working closely with a strong team of expert staff. We, as FSB members, set the strategy, both locally and nationally, based on our first-hand knowledge of running a business in the UK today. And, because we genuinely understand what it’s like to be an independent business owner, we always focus on the real issues – the ones that keep us awake at night – and that makes FSB the formidable campaigning force we have become. As we are a grassroots organisation, we simply could not undertake the fantastic work we do without our local volunteers working within their business community making a difference for small businesses. Our local activity helps shape local and national policy and decisions that have a direct impact on the day to day running of smaller businesses. In addition to driving policy change, our team of local and national volunteers play a role in supporting FSB events and meeting new business contacts, spreading the word about what FSB offers (including an array of benefits - from business banking to a debt recovery services, and from legal advice to cyber protection) to the UK’s local business communities. Our mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. We have volunteers from almost every industry and business sector in the UK and I look forward to welcoming more of our members to our vibrant, diverse and inclusive volunteer community. I recognise that not all eligible members will want to stand as candidates, however, there are lots of other ways to get involved and help make a change, at different levels. These include joining our online survey community Big Voice; acting as a case study for media opportunities; attending some of the hundreds of FSB events across the country; signing letters or emails to MPs, MSPs or local councillors; entering the annual FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards, right up to standing for election to represent members’ interests in their area or standing for election for the UK board. Senior politicians, government ministers, the Bank of England and other key decision makers regularly listen to FSB to help shape their work and policies. It is FSB’s local activity that helps shape local and national policy and decisions that have a direct impact on the day to day running of smaller businesses. I’m inviting each and every of our valued eligible members to take part in the elections to help the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed to thrive. Further details can be found at www.fsb.org.uk/volunteer You may also like 09 October 2019 Small biz recipes for National Curry Week 03 September 2019 Small businesses heed the call to reduce plastic waste 08 August 2019 Boosting Digital Skills for Small Business Community 20 June 2018 Pride month: Celebrating diversity and inclusion 20 February 2017 Opportunities knock for rural entrepreneurs 02 February 2016 PM message to FSB: 'We want you to be bigger and better'