London Development Agency
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More than 5,000 ways to strike Olympic gold
CompeteFor, the online 'business dating' website, is celebrating its second birthday with the 5,000th business opportunity advertised on the service since its launch in January 2008.
CompeteFor was designed by the London Development Agency with the London Business Network and London 2012 to give small and medium-sized businesses the chance to go for contract opportunities arising from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Together with the Olympic authorities and their main contractors, more than 600 'buying organisations' are now placing opportunities on CompeteFor.
Over 100,000 businesses across the UK have registered on CompeteFor to take advantage of the 5,000 opportunities ranging from printing to event management contracts and from training to abseiling services. Around 74% of contracts awarded have been placed with SME businesses and 18% of them have gone to businesses with 10 or less staff.
The success of CompeteFor has been most felt in London, where local businesses have won almost a third of the contracts awarded through CompeteFor so far.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
"CompeteFor is charging ahead in its quest to help businesses, many from the capital, scoop key London 2012 and GLA contracts. There are still more contracts up for grabs and I want the smaller companies in particular to know how easy the system is to use and what the huge benefits are. We need more clever thinking like CompeteFor to keep driving London back into rude financial health. Others should be emulating this champion service."
Ian Lucas, Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform, said:
"This is a very significant milestone to have reached and illustrates just how successful and user friendly the CompeteFor website is.
"Long term preparation and being in condition is the key to success - in sport and in business. With that in mind, the government has been helping UK businesses get in condition through Business link and its portfolio of products - such as the Manufacturing Advisory Service - which has helped domestic companies win London 2012 contracts via CompeteFor.
"The finish line isn’t in sight yet; there are still many more contracts up for grabs for small to medium sized businesses, which could also provide the opportunity to secure contracts for future global sporting events."
Mike Mulvey, Chief Executive of London Business Network, said:
"CompeteFor continues to grow from strength to strength and we are delighted that so many London 2012 and public sector supply chain opportunities have become accessible to small businesses. In these times of financial uncertainty, we would encourage businesses to use CompeteFor as a key tool in their business development portfolio."
CompeteFor is continuing to grow. There are still over £1 billion worth of Olympic-related contracts to come to the market. The Greater London Authority 'family' - the London Development Agency, Transport for London, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, and Metropolitan Police - now use the system routinely for their procurement of goods and services. Westminster City Council has also adopted CompeteFor to strengthen its procurement code and support local businesses.
London Development Agency Director of Olympic Opportunity Geoff Newton said:
"Over the past two years CompeteFor has grown to become an incredibly successful tool in ensuring that small businesses are able to benefit from the opportunities afforded by London 2012. The LDA's vision for the CompeteFor project has proved to be a great success and it is now used by many other buying organisations to open up contracts and opportunities in other areas."
To register on CompeteFor visit www.competefor.com
If UK businesses want to find out how they can get fit to compete for London 2012 contracts, they should visit www.businesslink.gov.uk or contact 0845 600 9 006.