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.
|Malcolm Harbour CBE Vice President|
Malcolm Harbour was elected to the European Parliament in June 1999, and re-elected in June 2004 and 2009. He represented the West Midlands Region of the UK. He was Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and was a Member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. He was Vice-Chairman of the Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) and a Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Delegation to Japan.
Malcolm Harbour takes a special interest in the EU single market, industry, science and technology policy. He was Chairman of the European Manufacturing Forum, and the Ceramics Industry Forum and was Governor of the European Internet Foundation. He was the lead MEP (rapporteur) for major legislation on Telecoms, the Single Market and Motor Vehicle standards until he stepped down as an MEP in 2014.
From 2005 to 2009, he served on the CARS 21 High Level Group, a Europe-wide initiative to boost the automotive industry. He was named as a top 50 European of 2006 for his key role in broking agreement on the Services Directive. In May 2006, he was named the UK’s most Small Business Friendly UK Parliamentarian by members of the Forum of Private Business. In September 2010, he was voted Internal Market MEP of the Year. In November 2012, in a ranking produced by Euractiv, he was named the 3rd most influential Briton in EU policy. Malcolm was appointed a CBE for services to the UK economy in the 2013 Honour's List.
Before his election to the Parliament, Malcolm Harbour spent 32 years in the motor industry, as an engineer, a senior commercial executive, a consultant and a researcher. He began his motor industry career in the BMC Longbridge Plant as an Austin Engineering Apprentice in 1967.
Malcolm Harbour was born in February 1947. He was educated at Bedford School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in Engineering, and at the University of Aston where he gained a Diploma in Management Studies. He received an Honorary DSc from Aston in 2008.