At ORB, we don’t just keep our members in the loop,


ORB members ARE the loop.


Read on to discover how we have protected our purpose and furthered the significance of ORB membership. 


We are extremely pleased to announce that ORB has merged with a new company to officially become the National Organisation for Responsible Micro, Small & Medium-sized Businesses.

A mouthful? You won’t have to start referring to a complicated acronym.

We are still ORB.

From the trading name, logo, websites, membership processes, and the online course, to the Responsible Business Standard Certification, we remain the same amazing collective that will improve and update subject to ‘normal’ future developments.

Our vision and mission remain the same and yet we have greatly enhanced ORB’s structural procedure with this transformative merger.



A newly enshrined commitment to current and future ORB members…


At ORB, we just don’t subscribe to a tick box approach.

We expect our members to show that they are committed to a better way of doing business by initially answering our benchmark questionnaire and taking the ORB member’s pledge:

“We pledge to operate our business in an honest and ethical manner; to consider people and the environment when making business decisions; and endeavour to make a positive contribution to the local community and society at large.”

We pride ourselves on a robust membership process that distinguishes us from others.

We take the time to research: this includes a personal phone call with you to organically discuss your understanding of and commitment to responsible business.

We also expect thoughtful responses to your Member’s Profile, made live in the Responsible Business Directory.

A member committed to demonstrating the very best of responsible business practice may take the Responsible Business Standard certification option.

In turn, ORB will always adhere to robust, evidence-based processes that are continually monitored and updated as appropriate.

Further, in the new Articles of Association, we commit to our vision of:

“Thriving, vibrant cities, towns, and villages where small businesses play a vital role in their local communities, contributing to social, environmental, and economic sustainability and setting an example of ethical and responsible business behaviour in the UK and across the world.

How do we commit?

  • We will encourage and promote a better way of doing business; a way that is good for business but also good for people (the workforce, local community, and society at large,) and good for the environment.
  • We will support and promote our members.
  • We will provide learning and certification options accessible to members and non-members that develop and authenticate responsible business practices.
  • We will carry out any other appropriate activities to further our purpose, including but not limited to events, research, surveys, studies, and actions intended to influence public opinion, government, and other bodies, either on our own account, by commissioning others, or in collaboration with other organisations.

We have also set in stone our Not-for-Profit status:

Any surplus funds will be re-invested into the business for development purposes or used in other ways as deemed appropriate by the Board, and within the terms of the Articles, to further its purpose.


Defining our member demographic


Here at ORB, we have a passion for the (often unsung) powerhouses of the economy: micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

Accordingly, we have confirmed this focus in the new Articles of Association:

(a) Membership is restricted to organisations that are micro, small, or medium-sized at the time of joining (0-249 full-time pro-rata employees)

(b) A Member may be an individual in the case of unincorporate organisations, or may be any other type of incorporated body

(c) Larger companies may be offered alternative engagement options such as Corporate Supporters, as an example, but cannot become members


Our purpose is protected for now and in the future to come…


…with one key difference:


From now on, current ORB members and all those who will join us, have been gifted ownership of ORB.

The new company is limited by guarantee meaning it is owned by its members, known as guarantors, rather than shareholders.


The in-depth look


The new company has a bespoke set of articles that focus on our purpose and the fundamental processes and procedures that must be maintained to deliver that purpose.

Markedly, 75% of voting members would have to approve any amendments to these articles.




How do I apply to join the ORB Member Council?


As you will have read in the Articles, all ORB members have the opportunity to apply for the Member Council.

This Council will ensure that member views are shared with the Board of Directors.

The Member Council will agree amongst themselves on who will act as the initial chair and secretary.

The Member Council may nominate, in a formal meeting and with majority votes, up to three of their number to hold office as a Director of The Organisation.

Member Council Directors must be re-elected every three years by the Member Council, but there is no limit on the number of times they can be re-elected.


We will need a minimum of eight and a maximum of forty members to form this representative body


Could this interest YOU?


Please use the contact form below to apply to the Member Council. Equally, please feel free to make any enquiries if you have questions.


ORB Member Council application




It has never been a better time to become a member of ORB.

Please take a look at our application process if you are interested in becoming a member.

Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB) Membership for SMEs