For many SME’s, doing business with government is not high on their prospecting list. In the media, much of the coverage around government suppliers tends to be about big consultancies and major multinational technology companies. It’s understandable then that many smaller businesses would consider becoming a supplier to government highly unlikely.
But in recent years, many governments around the world have put a dedicated focus on growing their percentage of SME business. We’ve written about a number of government programmes, including the recent US Administrations record breaking procurement with SME’s, the Canadian Government’s Trade Remedy Counselling Unit, The Australian State of NSW’s Digital Sovereign Procurement Taskforce, and South Korean Central Government, using health procurement through the pandemic as a way to increase business with SME’s. All of these programmes have focused Government attention on contracting through SME’s.
There are many benefits for government’s to buy from SME’s including:
- Promoting Economic Growth: Supporting small businesses through government contracts can stimulate economic growth. Small businesses are often significant contributors to job creation and can have a positive impact on local communities.
- Fostering Innovation: Small businesses are often agile and innovative, which can lead to the development of new products, services, and technologies. Awarding contracts to smaller firms can encourage creativity and competition in the marketplace.
- Increasing Competition: Contracting with small businesses increases competition in the government procurement process. Increased competition can lead to better value for taxpayers and more cost-effective solutions.
- Diverse Supplier Base: Awarding contracts to small businesses helps promote diversity in the supplier base. Diverse businesses bring different perspectives and approaches to projects, leading to a broader range of ideas and solutions.
- Reducing Monopolies: Contracting exclusively with large corporations can lead to monopolies or oligopolies, limiting options and potentially raising costs for the government. Including small businesses in the mix promotes a more balanced and competitive market.
- Enhancing Efficiency: Small businesses are often known for their personalised and customer focused approach. Engaging with small businesses can lead to better customer service and more responsive interactions during the procurement process.
- Compliance with Regulations: Many government agencies have goals and requirements to award a certain percentage of contracts to small businesses. By supporting small businesses, the government can meet its socio-economic objectives and comply with relevant regulations.
- Strengthening Local Economies: Government contracts awarded to small businesses can have a significant impact on the local economy, as the revenue generated is more likely to be reinvested within the community.
- Encouraging Entrepreneurship: Supporting small businesses through government contracts encourages entrepreneurship and the development of new businesses. This, in turn, can lead to a more vibrant and dynamic business environment.
- Social and Environmental Impact: Small businesses are often more focused on social and environmental responsibilities, such as sustainability practices and community engagement. Awarding contracts to such businesses can help the government achieve its broader social and environmental goals.
The good news is, it is possible for businesses of all sizes to become a supplier to government, and with greater government focus on doing business with SME's, it’s a good time to do so. Spend Network has created the freely available OpenOpps platform to help all businesses access government buying contracts and tenders easily.
OpenOpps is a database of all openly published contracts and tenders released by governments. It’s fully searchable by category and it’s easy to set up an alert that is tailored to your industry and category and delivered daily to your inbox. The database will supply you with the details for the contract, and often provides a direct link to the buying department or division.
With daily updates to our database from over 700 sources globally, it’s an opportunity not to be missed. www.openopps.com