The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the largest organisation that actively campaigns on behalf of the millions of small owner-managed organisations across Britain.
Membership of this non-profit organisation is only open to business owners who are actively involved in running their own commercial operations, whether as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. Set up in the mid-1970s the FSB had grown to over 213,000 members by mid-2010.
Every member of the FSB is entitled to a number of direct benefits, such as free services or discounts. They are also supporting a body who lobby central and local government on their behalf.
Benefits Available to FSB Members
The FSB operates through over 200 branches spread across the UK. Those joining the FSB are automatically assigned to a branch based on their geography, although they are free to get involved other other branches if they choose to.
The FSB offers its members networking opportunities through a schedule of events, such as breakfast meetings, presentations on specific subjects, and annual celebrations. They also get involved in local event, providing a focal point for business owners.
In addition to networking, the FSB operates a members’ directory on its website. The directory can be searched by anyone looking for a specific business, even if they are not a member themselves.
Anyone taking out or renewing annual membership of the FSB also enjoys a number of other advantages. Owners of small businesses in the UK have to comply with a wide regal of legal and bureaucratic requirements and the FSB helps by offering legal support for free. They provide a wide range of documents online, in the members only section of their website, and they also operate a telephone advice service that is available 24 hours a day all year round.
Another significant benefits to members is support for those with serious health conditions. Membership of the FSB includes entitlement to access to a personal nurse advisor. These provide practical advice, emotional support and can help organise appropriate therapy.
How the FSB Promotes Small Business Success
As the UK’s leading business organisation the FSB are active in promoting the interests of small enterprises. They sponsor Celebrate Success, annual awards made by The Prince’s Trust in recognition of the efforts of young people in their local community.
The FSB also lobbies government on issues that affect the small business community. One significant achievement was the establishment of a partnership with the UK government to enable students to gain work experience through subsidised internships.
Local government is encouraged to use small businesses and to sign the FSB’s Small Business Engagement Accord, demonstrating their support for local firms.
The Federation of Small Businesses is a not-for-profit organisation that exists solely for the benefit of its members. It helps the millions of tiny businesses in the UK to have a voice at national level and to access many of the benefits more easily available to major organisations.