The Enterprise Forum was founded in 1997 by Andrew Cumpsty and Alistair Burt through a desire to ensure business involvement in the Conservative Party's policy development. Its aim is to improve the quality and flow of information between the business community and the Conservative Party. Alistair Burt was the first Chairman of the Enterprise Forum. Andrew Cumpsty took over from Alistair Burt as Chairman after Burt’s re-election to Parliament in 2001.
The first formal meeting, by the Enterprise Forum was with Peter Lilley MP, the then Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party. Since that time the Enterprise Forum has had virtually every front bench Conservative Politician speak at one of its meetings.
The Enterprise Forum’s members are businesses and organisations that want to engage on policy with the Coalition Government or before 2010, the Conservative Party. Membership includes commercial organisations (including FTSE 100 companies and SME’s), trade associations and charities.
The programme of events is determined by the policy priorities of the member organisations. The majority of meetings are held under the Chatham House Rules.
Additionally, the Forum also engages with key policy stakeholders outside of the Conservative Party. These have included Director Generals at the CBI, Deputy Governors at The Bank of England, the Liberal Democrats and the First Minister of Northern Ireland.
The President of the Enterprise Forum is The Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth DL. Vice-Presidents of the Enterprise Forum are Alistair Burt MP (Founder and former Chairman of the Enterprise Forum), David Gauke MP, Malcolm Harbour CBE, Margot James MP and Mark Prisk MP.
The Enterprise Forum is run by an unpaid board of senior directors drawn from business and industry (see biographies opposite)
Former directors of the Enterprise Forum that have gone on to become MPs are David Gauke MP, Stephen Barclay MP, Oliver Colvile MP, Alan Mak and Laura Sandys.
Julie Girling MEP is the representative for The Enterprise Forum in The European Parliament. The Enterprise Forum holds regular European Parliament update meetings in London and Brussels.
|Alistair Burt MP Vice President|
Alistair has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire since June 2001, having previously held the seat of Bury North between 1983 – ’97.
Alistair has served as PPS to Rt. Hon Kenneth Baker (1985-90), junior minister at the Department of Social Security in 1992 and was promoted to Minister of State, Minister for Disabled People in 1995.
Returning to Westminster in 2001, Alistair was PPS to the Leader of the Opposition from November 2002 to May 2005, following which he was appointed Shadow Minister for Communities and Regeneration with responsibility for social justice and action. In 2008 he was made Assistant Chief Whip and Deputy Party Chairman. Following the May 2010 General Election Alistair was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister for the Middle East and South Asia.
Alistair is on the Board of Patrons of Habitat for Humanity GB, a charity tackling poverty housing on a global scale and an Ambassador to Prospects, an organisation working with people with learning disabilities.
Alistair qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and has also worked in recruitment as a headhunter for the not-for-profit sector at Whitehead Mann GKR (1997 – 2001). In addition, Alistair is the co-Founder of the Enterprise Forum and served as Chairman between 1998 and 2001.