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.
|Mark Prisk MP Vice President|
Mark was elected to the House of Commons in June 2001 as MP for Hertford & Stortford. In November 2002, he was appointed Shadow Financial Secretary. A year later he became Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs. In November 2004, Mark became an Opposition Whip.
In December 2005, he was made Shadow Spokesman for Business & Enterprise and this role was confirmed in July 2007 with a wider brief on Enterprise, Deregulation and Competition. In July 2007 he was also appointed Shadow Minister for his home county of Cornwall.
On being re-elected as the member for Hertford & Stortford in the 2010 General Election, Mark Prisk MP was asked by the Prime Minister to join the Coalition Government. He was appointed as a Minister for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. His Ministerial portfolio whilst wide ranging focuses on key business sectors, promoting enterprise and cutting red tape. In June, the Prime Minister asked him to also take on the Trade and Investment Ministerial portfolio until January 2011.
During his Parliamentary career his roles have included Vice Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Small Business Group, Honorary Vice President of the Small Business Bureau and Chairman of the East Hertfordshire Business Forum.
Previously, Mark worked in the property and economic development markets as a director of a £3m practice (1983 - 1991). Between 1991 - 2001, Mark advised a wide range of professional firms both in the UK and abroad through his own strategic marketing and communication consultancy.