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.
|Andrew Cumpsty Chairman|
As a founder of The Enterprise Forum, Andrew took over as chairman in February 2001. He is Director of his own business, having previously been Head of Public Affairs at Penna, and an International Director with PPS. He also has worked in senior roles with Ericsson, 3, Direct Impact and McDonald's.
Andrew is co-founder and former Deputy Chairman of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and was a Councillor for the ward of Caversham in Reading. He was previously Leader of Reading Borough Council and the Conservative Group.
He has served on many voluntary bodies and is a Freeman of the City of Lancaster.
Andrew was the Chairman of the Lancaster Conservative Association, 1993-1996 and stood as a candidate for both the Lancashire County Council and Lancashire City Council. During the 1997 General Election Campaign, Andrew stood as the Conservative Candidate in Copeland. As well as the co-founder of the Enterprise Forum, Andrew has been a member of a number of associations including; Lancaster & Wyre, Southgate, Hertford & Stortford and Reading West.
He is currently leading a business consortium in Reading to deliver a new theatre and arts venue for the town.