SMEs to access public spending worth €12bn

SMEs are set to access funds and training from the state in a new initiative
SMEs are set to access funds and training from the state in a new initiative

Pat Breen, TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan, TD, have launched a new range of materials from the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) aiming to promote SME participation in the public procurement process.



2 February 2018

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The procurement initiative has been developed in response to industry feedback, and includes a series of introductory breakfast briefings, organised by InterTradeIreland, and a range of videos explaining the procurement process.

The innovation in providing additional encouragement to Irish businesses comes at the suggestion of an SME Advisory Group chaired by O’Donovan. The group, which consists of representatives from the public and private sectors, has been working to further promote SME participation in the public procurement process. Officials from the Dept of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) sit on the SME Advisory Group.

Breakfast briefings will be available to businesses across Ireland at a range of different levels over the course of the coming year. InterTradeIreland, are organising the events.

“SMEs represent 99% of our enterprise base,” said Minister Breen at the event. “Supporting growth and jobs in this sector is a key priority for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. I am delighted that the Office for Government Procurement, with the support of this Department and its Agencies and key business representative bodies has developed a suite of materials to make the public procurement process for SMEs clearer.

“It is vital that our SMEs understand the extent of the opportunities that are open to them for bidding for public procurement contracts. Public procurement represents an important market for Irish businesses.  Public bodies in Ireland spend €12 billion on goods, services, and works and the wider European market is worth €2 trillion.”

Grant Gilmore, Public Tendering Operations Manager for InterTradeIreland, said his organisation’s Go2Tender training has already proved highly popular for businesses looking to sell to the public sector.  “These breakfast briefings are an important addition to our training supports for smaller businesses or those who are just starting to consider the opportunities represented by public procurement,” Gilmore said.

The events are endorsed by a range of business representative organisations including the Small Firms Association (SFA).

“Public contracts represent an important source of business for many of our members,” said Linda Barry, assistant director of the SFA. “The SFA is working with government not only to make public procurement more accessible to small firms, but also to provide them with the knowledge and skills to successfully bid for public contracts. This initiative from the OGP is a positive contribution in this regard.”




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