A best practice guide designed to address the issues that inhibit SME procurement from the public sector was launched by Minister of State Brian Hayes TD at an event in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce today.
In Ireland and the UK alone, the public sector procures about €190bn in goods and services every year. But although SMEs account for 99pc of total companies, they deliver less than half of the requirements of contracting authorities
“Research has shown that, given the right conditions and assistance, SMEs can become more effective in winning and retaining supply contracts to Government and other authorities,” said Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber chief executive.
“This is a ‘win win’ for all; SMEs are the backbone of our economy and the primary generation source of employment and business taxes. When successful and facilitated, SMEs also have the potential to grow into large companies with an international reach.”
Minister Hayes added: “It is essential that we do everything in our power to remove barriers preventing SMEs from competing in the public service marketplace. This is an area that I have been personally involved with at both national and EU level but more progress is needed.”
The best practice guide, which was developed by the Enterprise Europe Network at Dublin Chamber, is based on the findings and research unearthed through a series of targeted learning and networking workshops organised as part of the ‘Are tenders on your radar?’ project.
The aim of this EU-funded project was to improve SMEs access to public procurement, by bridging the gap between business and public buyers in both the UK and Ireland.