The Scottish government has launched a digital procurement initiative, aiming to make it easier for SMEs to bid for public sector business.
The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) has received a funding boost of £360,000, which Holyrood claims will give a further 2200 businesses a better chance of gaining part of the £10 billion annual public sector spend.
SMEs are set to receive advice on subjects such as attracting online trade and transacting electronically with the public sector via a series of events, training opportunities and a the new SDP website.
Funding for the programme comes from the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership, which aims to help businesses of all sizes build on their digital skills.
“This new funding for the SDP will play a key role in helping suppliers participate in procurement exercises and is a great example of public services in Scotland working together to develop our economic capacity,” claimed Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing.
The Minister added that the government would be working in partnership with enterprise agencies, local authorities and other public bodies as part of the SDP.
He claims that it will contribute to the development of digital businesses skills and prove Scottish businesses can complete in the global digital market.
FSB welcomes increasing Scottish SME public sector engagement
The news has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), with Scottish policy convenor Andy Willox claiming FSB wants more Scottish small businesses winning public work.
“By supporting small businesses to develop better digital skills, we give them the opportunity to capitalise on the investment the country is making in digital infrastructure,” Willox claimed.
“Scottish small businesses, no matter their size or sector, can use IT to level the playing field with their much larger competitors,” he added.