A programme aiming to open up valuable public sector contracts to SMEs has just been launched by Deloitte Digital and small business support platform Enterprise Nation. 

Deloitte is leading the way on a new spirit of SME collaboration by supporting more UK tech start-ups and early-stage businesses to make their debut in delivering valuable public sector contracts. 

The SME Supplier Eco-system Programme will help firms become supplier-ready and overcome the hurdles smaller businesses face in accessing large government procurement bids – such as providing evidence of previous contract work or three years of audited accounts. 

The programme will help talented digital firms access life-changing opportunities to grow their business sustainably. 

Deloitte plans to hold events to open up opportunities more widely and to develop a new culture of collaboration and a sustainable pipeline of innovative ‘supplier-ready’ digital SMEs it can plug in.  

Businesses signing up to the SME Supplier Eco-system will also receive monthly newsletters with notifications on new contract opportunities and join a community of peers looking to scale.  

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The programme comes as the Procurement Bill goes through Parliament with the intent to give innovative small firms ‘an even bigger slice of the procurement pie’ by mandating large contractors like Deloitte to work with SME quotas on bids. 

Deloitte Digital partner, Andrew McKibbin, said: “We are committed to building a thriving SME community that will bring unrivalled access to exciting opportunities across Government, working on complex, large scale programmes with that will make a difference to society. SMEs bring a wealth of innovation, agility and geographic access that compliment how we work at Deloitte Digital. 

“We have a rich heritage of working closely with SMEs and I am looking forward to turbocharging that through a diverse and collaborative SME community that will help businesses grow.” 

Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones, added: “Accessing public sector work in this way can act like an accelerator for SMEs. Government contracts are solid, they pay within 30 days and small firms get to work with incredible machines like Deloitte. 

“It’s a very powerful way to evolve the UK’s digital business community and apply the work from some of the UK’s most agile and innovative businesses to solve public sector problems.  This benefits not just SMEs themselves but the wider community, by saving taxpayers’ money along the way.”