Scotland Launches Digital Procurement Initiative To Attract SMBs

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Improve your digital skills and start selling to the government, urges Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing

The Scottish government has launched a digital procurement initiative that aims to help smaller businesses bid for public sector contracts.

According to the Herald Scotland, the government will spend £360,000 to update the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) in order to attract another 2,200 organisations of all sizes, across all sectors.

“This new funding for the Supplier Development Programme will play a key role in helping suppliers participate in procurement exercises, and is a great example of public services in Scotland working together to develop our economic capacity,” said Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing.

For the underdogs

The Scottish government is estimated to spend £10 billion a year on public sector contracts. However, traditionally most of this spend goes to large corporations.

JohnKwanAccording to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), organisations with fewer than 10 staff account for about 94 percent of the total number of Scottish firms, but they contest just four percent of the procurement budget.

The government is hoping to change this trend with the introduction of new digital tools. As part of the initiative, SMBs will get access to events, training opportunities, and a new SDP website to help develop their digital capability.

Ewing said that these skills will not just improve the procurement process, but also help local businesses compete on the world stage.

“By 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,” added Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor at the FSB.

“Scottish small businesses, no matter their size or sector, can use information technology to level the playing-field with their much larger competitors.”

The initiative will be funded by the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership.

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