With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the doorstep of the East of England counties and with less than 1,000 days to go before London welcomes the world, Business Link East is encouraging businesses in Essex to embrace the lucrative opportunities that are still up for grabs.
Essex-based small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) should be optimistic about their Olympic prospects. More than 1000 companies from all over the country have already won £5 billion worth of contracts with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), whilst thousands more have benefited from the supply chain. Of ODA’s direct contracts, 98 per cent have gone to businesses in the UK, half of which are based outside of London and over two-thirds are SMEs.
The ODA has committed in its procurement policy to provide businesses, in particular SMEs, with access to supply chain opportunities and business support services to help them prepare for supply standards. The CompeteFor website, developed in partnership with the Regional Development Agencies around the country, provides large organisations and SMEs alike access to such supply chain opportunities.
Many businesses are already going for gold: to date, company registrations on CompeteFor are approaching the 93,000 mark (as of the end of Oct 09) nationally and 10,000 in the East of England region. In part, because of investment from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and support from Business Link in the East of England, the region is doing well in terms of the proportion of applicants achieving the published status on the CompeteFor database. (The East is 3rd out of 9 Regional Development Agency areas behind London and the South East.)
According to Richard Ellis, Chair of EEDA, “Already 30% of all businesses published on CompeteFor in the East of England have been shortlisted for a contract, the largest success rate for any region outside of London. And, over 8% of all the contracts awarded via CompeteFor have been granted to businesses in the East of England, helping the region to prosper.
Speaking at the recent London 2012 Business Summit, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOGOC) Chairman, Sebastian Coe announced the imminent tender of around £700 million worth of goods and services for the staging of the Games. Opportunities include facilities management, catering, production services for Ceremonies and technology. Is this you? Act now.
The CompeteFor procurement process consists of 4 stages:
- Supplier completes a business profile Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)
- Matching the supplier profile to the buyer’s requirements criteria
- The suppliers respond to a set of questions created by the buyer
- Shortlisting and invitation to tender
Senior Partnership Director at Business Link East, Terry Burgess commented:
“Business Link in the East of England considers the CompeteFor portal to be an excellent opportunity for small to medium enterprise companies to develop their offer and enter new supply chains that under normal circumstances may have been considered out of reach. SMEs sometimes encounter difficulties when completing the PQQ, which requires information to be provided on the company¹s approach to quality, diversity, health and safety and environmental initiatives. Smaller organisations and sole traders may not have such policies in place but they shouldn’t be discouraged from registering.”
Business Link East is the place to go for help and support in exploring business opportunities around the 2012 Games and registering on CompeteFor. A number of their free events focus on exactly that; visit www.bookevents.org for further information and to book your place.
Alternatively, call Business Link East and speak to an Adviser on 08457 15 16 17 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/east.