More support for enterprises
6 Jun 2014 04:10 PM
£360,000 to help businesses with public
Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) and third sector businesses will find it easier to bid for
£10 billion Scottish public sector contracts thanks to the roll-out of a
digital procurement initiative.
funding boost to the Supplier Development Programme will help an additional
2,200 businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, develop their digital
capability and be more efficient in bidding and fulfilling public
SMEs will receive
advice on attracting online trade and guidance on transacting electronically
with the public sector through dozens of events, training opportunities and a
new SDP website, set up by funding from the Scottish Government’s Digital
Scotland Business Excellence Partnership.
The roll-out of
the programme will supplement existing services provided by Scottish
Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Ready for Business and the
Supplier Development Programme. The public sector currently spends around
£10 billion a year on contracts, with 46 per cent spent with
Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Earlier this month the Scottish Parliament
passed the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill which means that public bodies
will now have a duty to consider how they can facilitate the involvement of
SMEs, third sector bodies and supported businesses in procurements.
funding for the Supplier Development Programme will play a key role in helping
suppliers participate in procurement excercises, and is a great example of
public services in Scotland working together to develop our economic
partnership with the enterprise agencies, local authorities and other public
bodies, we are committed to proactively supporting Scottish suppliers and want
to help them meet the requirements of public bodies.
“What’s more, through the Supplier
Development Programme we can contribute to the development of digital business
skills that can allow Scottish business to compete in the global
Development Programme will be hosted by South Lanarkshire Council.
Thompson, Chair of the Supplier Development Programme and chair of South
Lanarkshire Council’s Enterprise Services Committee said:
“This is an exciting phase in the development of the Supplier Development
from the Scottish Government will allow SDP to enhance the existing support we
provide to SMEs.
also let us explore new, innovative ways to allow businesses access to public
sector contracts via the increased use of digital media and in how the SMEs
engage with our colleagues in Procurement.
that the Scottish Government is supporting SDP shows that they have confidence
in the work that we are doing and wish to roll this out across Scotland and to
build on our previous success.
“As Chair of
the Supplier Development Programme I also take personal pride in the fact the
South Lanarkshire Council will host the new, national
Andy Willox, the
Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scottish policy convenor,
wants more Scottish small businesses winning public work. Alongside moves to
encourage a more proportional approach from buyers, we warmly welcome extra
support to ensure small enterprises deliver polished bids.
supporting small Scottish businesses to develop better digital skills, we give
them the opportunity to capitalise on the investment the country is making in
digital infrastructure. Scottish small businesses, no matter their size or
sector, can use information technology to level the playing field with their
much larger competitors.”
Development Programme was established by a number of Scotland’s local
authorities to provide public sector procurement training for SMEs and the
follows the publication of Scotland’s Digital Future– Supporting
the Transition to a World leading Digital Economy (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0042/00421478.pdf) which
identified the challenges faced by SMEs in attracting and retaining people with
digital experience, and highlighted that SMEs are often unfamiliar with the
benefits, risks and costs of ICT projects.
Government’s ambition is for Scotland to be internationally recognised as
a world-class digital nation and economy by 2020. To realise this ambition,
seamless support and advice on digital topics for businesses is being made
available via The Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership. Members
include representatives from Scottish Government; Scottish Enterprise;
Highlands & Islands Enterprise; Skills Development Scotland; Scottish
Funding Council; Technical Advisory Group; ScotlandIS; Education Scotland;
E-Skills UK; Local Authorities and the Federation of Small
Ready for Business
offers a unique opportunity to develop and embed a number of leading market
development solutions, including the Public Social Partnership (PSP) model,
Community Benefit Clauses (CBC) and the use of Social Value throughout public
sector commissioning and procurement in Scotland.
It builds a platform to facilitate third sector engagement in service design to
meet community needs and, at the same time, further increase the overall
sustainability of the sector, whilst offering public bodies the opportunity to
commission services efficiently and effectively.