Making History : First “Virtual Installation” of New Freemen

As an outward-looking organisation of successful entrepreneurs who are drawn together through their shared experiences of building successful businesses and overcoming challenges, we were not to be out done by the inconvenience of a Global Pandemic when welcoming new Freemen into the fold. 

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has greatly impacted all the Guild’s social, educational and outreach programmes, and restricted much of the traditional framework of governance which until now very much depended on physical meetings. This in particular applied to the “Freedom Ceremony” which is used to formally admit new Freemen.

Not wishing to delay admitting new and enthusiastic new Freemen indefinitely the governing body of the Guild (“The Court”) agreed that new members (“Freemen Entrepreneurs”) could be admitted via videoconference. On 22nd April at 6.30pm, the Court met via Zoom to admit six new Freemen “by virtual presence”. This was one of the first such occasions on which this had been done by the Guilds and Livery Companies of the City of London. Weeks later, the City of London Corporation would admit its first Freeman by virtual presence (Tom Moore on 12th May).

We were delighted to welcome:-

Freeman Mr Mark O’Neil

Freeman Mr Tomas Halgas

Freeman Mr Nick Stretton

Freeman the Rt Hon. the Lord Leigh of Hurley

Freeman Mr Patrick Smith

Freeman Mr David Selves

The Guild of Entrepreneurs ceremony was recorded and can be viewed/downloaded from

In true “ virtual style” our new Freemen were awarded with “ Virtual Freedom Certificates” which are truly unique and not something the majority of us can make a claim to !

Lord Leigh’s Virtual Freedom Certificate

Not wanting our new Freemen to miss out on the opportunity and experience of a physical ceremony to officially become  Freeman, plans are being made for them to be welcomed in person by the Master and the Guild and presented with their installation plaques at the next formal event we are able to run.

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