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.
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.
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.
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.