The Story of UKBF

Welcome to UK Business Forums, a place for knowledge, support and community for UK small businesses and sole traders to come together.

The History of UK Business Forums

UK Business Forums (UKBF) started in February 2003 as a place for those working alone in their small businesses support each other and network. The technical aspects managed by a web designer called Gary, and the community management and promotion of the forums managed by Richard (Ozzy). Richard 'Ozzy' Osborne

This first year of UKBF was a lifeline for Ozzy with a very small but great community of small business owners who provided that camaraderie he needed. He was deep in debt with three credit cards and two banks loans to pay as he was trying to rebuild from a badly judged deal that resulted in him losing his first business. His first child was only a few months old and his in-laws were donating food and money to help feed his family. It would be fair to say he felt a failure and was suffering from depression.

During this time UKBF quickly started to grow in popularity but in 2004 Gary was unable to continue to support the forums due to other work commitments so Ozzy made the decision to take over the forums singlehandedly, and put everything he had into growing them. Over the next 3 years UKBF ballooned in growth alongside his company formation business, the two worked side by side. He helped people start their own companies through Quick Formations[1] and provided them with membership to UKBF. The site was growing rapidly and attracting a lot of media attention too, with TV production companies reaching out to members for appearances on their shows, and other media using the community for stories and opinion.

Then on New Years Day in 2007 his family suffered a tragic death that shook the family, yet as if by fate Ozzy received three offers to buy UKBF within a few weeks of the tragedy. He took the opportunity to step away from the community and focus on his family and re-evaluate what he wanted to work on. A company called Sift Media acquired UKBF and managed the site for a while.

During that time Ozzy rebuilt his business for the second time but now he had the resources from the sale of UKBF and today is the CEO of Business Data Group (BDG) which started trading as a cloud based technology company with roots in the company formation sector.

Sift Media and Ozzy had been having a few conversations throughout 2019 and 2020 about UKBF with the potential for Ozzy to re-acquire the forums. They no longer had a fit within the Sift product porfolio and with so much memory and sentimental value to Ozzy he wanted to see them continue but a deal couldn’t quite fall into place. Jump forward to early 2021 with the world starting to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ozzy had been working on a post-pandemic business plan for BDG which included UKBF so the opportunity arose and a deal was back on the table. Eventually on March 8th 2021 UK Business Forums returned back under Ozzy’s control and he started the journey of rebuilding and growing UKBF to be a supportive and welcoming community for all small and micro businesses in the UK.

The Purpose & Vision for UK Business Forums

For Ozzy the purpose is simple, he wants UKBF to help other small business owners in the same way they helped him. Through his experience in running Quick Formations[1] he knows how worrying and unnerving, and sometimes even scary, it can be starting and running your own business. So he feels the nervousness others experience when they come to UKBF looking for support and answers, and that is the Purpose of UKBF. They exist to support and bring together small and micro business owners in the UK.
The Vision for UKBF is to grow the site to be more than just a community, but to also be a voice for the community. Where UKBF can take sentiment and opinion to Government and others. Alone we can be a single voice, but together we can be orchestra that can be heard far and wide. That is the vision for UKBF, to be a resounding voice for small and micro businesses in the UK.

About Richard 'Ozzy' Osborne

As well as running BDG and UKBF, Ozzy volunteers for a number of charitable causes. As an adult with Aspergers Syndrome he understands the challenges facing people with autism, and he works with young people and young adults with behavioural and learning difficulties supporting them into education and employment. He is a coach for disenfranchised young people, a Governor for a Special Educational Needs secondary school, a specialist SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities) Enterprise Advisor for the Governments EA program, and also champion’s disadvantaged groups and home educators.
Throughout 2017 to 2019 he led a campaign which resulted in the Government launching the Companies House Registrar Reform closing the loopholes that exist with the Companies Act facilitating corporate crime and money laundering, and is a recognised expert in the legislation surrounding this reform.

More information relating to Ozzy can be found at richardosborne.co.uk

 

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[1]: Richard Osborne sold his Quick Formations business in 2014 and is no longer involved in it's operation.