Advisory Forums

EF Advisory Forums are the lifeblood of EF. Forums are informal, confidential, conversational, and frank. The goal is to provide strategic advice to help the entrepreneur make sound business decisions.  Advisors’ advice is drawn from their considerable understanding of the marketplace, their own expertise and experiences, and how it applies to the entrepreneur’s current situation. 

Prior to the meeting the Advisors will have received and reviewed the entrepreneur’s confidential materials. Typically the session includes the Advisors, the EF Program Manager, and the entrepreneur, but more than one representative from the entrepreneur’s organization can participate. 

The format of the forum varies according to needs and schedules of the entrepreneur and the Advisors. EF makes the arrangements and covers the bill. The usual format is an evening session, about three hours and usually over dinner in a comfortable, and confidential setting.

Typically the entrepreneur presents a brief verbal synopsis of the business status, with an emphasis on the present challenge.

The talk is honest, firm and constructive. A consensus of strategic advice is reached. It’s worth noting that Advisors' advice may lead entrepreneurs in a different direction than they had envisioned. 

Following the Forum
The Advisory session does not conclude the relationship between EF and the entrepreneur. Following the forum, EF completes a report summarizing the meeting, noting short-and long-term recommendations. In many cases this document becomes the basis of the entrepreneur’s work plan. It is up to the entrepreneur to follow the direction, or not.

EF maintains contact with the client at regular intervals over the ensuing 24 months. Follow-up Advisory forum in a similar format as the first are typical requests and are conducted as required. 

The entrepreneur, as recipient of EF services, is asked to complete evaluation surveys and is invited to provide comments and feedback on the value of EF services. The first evaluation is right after the Advisory Forum, and then annually. The feedback is designed to track aggregate performance of EF services, report to EF funders, and provide suggestions for further development of EF. 

It is not atypical for an Advisor to continue the relationship with the entrepreneur.  A relationship of this type is arranged between the Advisor and the entrepreneur at the suggestion of the Advisor and is outside the scope of EF, although EF will maintain interest for up to two years and has a robust follow-up program to stay in touch with EF clients.  

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