Keep strong, keep going, keep healthy

27th March 2020

A personal message to FEO Members and Key Partners: No Fees for at least 6 months

FEO exists to help entrepreneurs start, adapt and grow. Right now, you could add Survive. It’s vital to be part of an organisation that helps its membership and we will need each other like never before in the difficult months ahead that we are all facing. We’ve just completed an impressive year as we round off our first decade , our 2020-2025 plan was sorted, and FEO activity was well ahead of forecast.

At today’s Board Meeting we agreed the following:

There are NO FEO fees for the next 6 months for any member or key partner - this will be next reviewed at September’s Board Meeting. Not just “no increase“ simply no fees at all. The FEO support network remains in place and we are mobilising each other, and our key partners like never before as we face this crisis together.

How can we do this? We have decided to immediately invest the prudent reserves we have to have as a Community Interest Company for the immediate benefit of members and key partners alike: we really are all in this together. We hope that, as a result of this move, our key partners will remain central to the activities that will help us all through this, and that we might even be able to grow the membership as we club together in these challenging times. Please speak with Jan or Kerry to introduce a new member on exactly the same terms as everyone else.

I remind you of some of the other messages that all members received last week:

The Strategy to 2025 is now “parked “as we refocus all our activities in these uncertain times. It will wait until we’ve all got time to enact it. For now we must mobilise in response to Government Announcements as the UK economy prepares for a battle that frankly none of us have ever experienced.

Already we have curtailed all Sub Group face to face activity, but there’s no need to stop talking, even if it is virtually. We will help members and partners to work our way through this crisis. A new Comms Sub Group to provide Member and Key Partner dialogue is already underway, and Jan and Kerry are calling each and every one of you as we determine how best to add value throughout our network.

We are pulling together a Survival Toolkit that will be accessible via the website and our investing the most important page in our accounts to support the most important page in yours: Cash. We will pull together messages as to how to use the Government initiatives to survive, and will be pointing you at our Key Partners so that they can also help. You will be making some tough decisions and you don’t need to go on this journey alone. We are there with you, and for you.

As Entrepreneurs we adapt, we thrive, we survive and will do so together.

Another significant change to our plans has been forced upon us all: We will have to wait to celebrate the first 10 years working together, as The Business Day cannot go ahead in June. Details of refund protocols to all sponsors and ticket holders will follow from ERYC and the Board are progressing these activities on all our behalves.

Right now the UK is facing an uncertain future: we are battling a virus that doesn’t yet know how to lose, the economy remains fragile and we will all be impacted in some way as we wrestle ourselves away from Europe. It’s going to be lumpy and it might get a little confusing, but when we stick together, we will create clarity out of chaos, and we will continue on our journey.

The Board understand the need to support you all as best we can, and I thank you once again for all you do for FEO, our Members, our audience and our Region.

Finally, the politicians’ words of the last 10 years actually ring true “we are all in this together “,

Keep strong, keep going and keep healthy

Thomas Martin

Chairman -For Entrepreneurs Only

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