Small firms offered free course in procuring public contracts

ContractsThe government has launched a free course designed to help smaller firms pitch for the £220 billion of public sector business that is available each year.

The course, entitled ‘Winning the Contract’, provides hints on how to find and identify public sector business opportunities, explains the procurement process and demonstrates how to submit tenders.

The e-learning programme was originally launched in 2007 and previously cost £49.99.

But, after a review last year, the course has been refreshed and extended, and made free so that more firms can use it.

It is available online and is open to all businesses, whatever their size.

Lord Davies, Trade, Investment and Small Business Minister, said: “Small and medium-sized businesses already sell their goods and services to the public sector, but many more could do so. Opening up public sector procurement to a wider range of suppliers provides new opportunities for small businesses as the UK economy heads towards growth.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne added: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the engine-room of our economy. We want them to harness the spending power of government to grow their businesses and create jobs. This new free course will help those businesses to compete effectively for government contracts, locking in the recovery and strengthening businesses throughout the country.”

The course can be found at www.businesslink.gov.uk/procurement

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