ACT launch targets enterprise support professionals

Launch of membership body for coaches, mentors, trainers and advisers of startups and small businesses signals second act in nfea strategy.

By News Desk
18th February 2009 at 9:27

NFEA launches ACT for enterprise support professionalsThe National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA) has announced the launch of ACT, a new membership programme designed to provide networking, professional development and representation for enterprise support professionals around the UK.

ACT hopes to provide a unique network for like-minded coaches, trainers and mentors who play a part in supporting small businesses.  

Although not accepting applications just yet, it is anticipated that membership will cost in the region of £100 a year, comparable to the price of other membership organisations aimed at the SME sector.

George Derbyshire, chief executive of NFEA, said:

Enterprise support is a growing industry and contains a number of roles which are becoming increasingly more specialised – including advisers, coaches, trainers, brokers and mentors. 

All in all this is an interesting and shrewd move by the NFEA.  It at once positions the organisation as the voice of enterprise support professionals, while potentially boosting its own revenue stream, helping to cement its future in the face of political rationalisation of business support programmes.

It is estimated there is a market of 6-7,000 enterprise support professionals out there who could potentially seek to become a member.  

Opening membership up to all self-styled business coaches and trainers could increase the possible membership base significantly.

But herein lies the challenge.  How will ACT differentiate itself from the thousands of networking events around the country designed to support the self-employed professional?  And will there be any criteria for membership?

Recognised qualifications or accreditation for enterprise support professionals are somewhat thin on the ground.

More will no doubt be revealed at ACT’s inaugural conference which will take place on Tuesday 28 April.  

The event will also provide attendees with an opportunity to become a founding member.

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