What opportunities did the public sector hold for SMEs and VCSEs?

2018 saw failures by some of the UK Government's largest outsourcing companies put many jobs and projects at risk. This has rightly highlighted the importance of turning to social value organisations that can deliver on public sector contracts in a sustainable way that benefits the wider community.

SMEs and VCSEs are key drivers of social value as these organisations bring diversity, innovation and increased competition to the public sector. It has long been the Government’s aim "to see public services delivered with values at their heart” and harness the talents of these suppliers. 

Ahead of the Public Sector Solutions Expo in June, Tussell has pulled back the curtain on the role social value organisations play in the UK public sector. By looking at procurement trends, we've established which goods and services these organisations are providing and which contracting authorities are buying from them.

You can enter your details at the bottom of the page to download the full report. Alternatively, keep scrolling for a summary of our key findings.

Key Findings of our Report:
  • SMEs won over 17,000 contracts in 2018, nearly half of the total issued. The majority of these contracts were valued at £500k or less

  • Over 5,000 SMEs won more than one package of work, showing that contracting authorities are returning to find value from these suppliers

  • VCSEs won 1,891 awards across a wide range of contract values, revealing their ability to flexibly fulfil requirements

  • Local Government was the key buyer type for social value organisations. These authorities awarded the highest number of contracts, worth the most combined value, to SMEs and VCSEs.

SMEs VCSEs donut

SMEs and VCSEs occupy different areas in the public sector landscape. With their lower average contract value and higher volume of contracts, SMEs have an important function in frequently providing services on smaller packages of work. By contrast, the work of VCSE suppliers is diverse and can often span multiple years.

The Cabinet Office is currently strategising over how best to further promote greater social value through public sector contracts. This should provide future opportunities for SMEs and VCSEs to enter the public sector or expand on their past success. By understanding procurement trends SMEs and VCSEs can focus in on the right government buyers and sectors. This allows them to apply the correct bid/no bid criteria and improve their win rate.

Interested in finding out more? Enter your details below to download the full report on social value in public procurement. You can also join us at the Public Sector Solutions Expo in June where we will be sharing our insight on social value and other exciting topics in public procurement. 

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