Talk to us 01204 238 046

How the Procurement Act Boosts Supplier Diversity for SMEs

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Jun 14, 2024

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are pivotal to fostering innovation, employment, and economic growth. However, accessing opportunities in public procurement remains a significant challenge, often mediated by complex procurement processes, rigorous bid writing requirements, and the need for prompt payment assurance. The Procurement Act plays a crucial role in this landscape, aiming to level the playing field by introducing greater transparency, credibility, and value for money in procurement practices through supplier diversity. These changes not only benefit the public sector but also open a realm of opportunities for SMEs, enabling them to compete more effectively for government contracts.

Supplier diversity explained

Supplier diversity definition

Supplier diversity refers to a business strategy that involves incorporating diverse-owned businesses into a company's supply chain. These businesses are typically owned and operated by individuals from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, women, veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities. A diverse supplier must be at least 51% owned and operated by these individuals. This approach not only fosters inclusivity but also drives innovation and economic growth within often-overlooked communities.

Procurement Act and its implications

Overview of changes

The Procurement Act 2023, effective from October this year, revolutionises UK procurement regulations. By repealing over 350 EU-derived regulations, it simplifies the existing framework, ensuring a quicker, more transparent process that aligns with the UK's needs post-Brexit. This Act introduces a competitive tendering procedure, allowing more flexibility and a focus on achieving value for money and maximising public benefit. It mandates a new approach to public procurement, enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate more freely and effectively.

Impact on public sector

With the implementation of the Procurement Act 2023, the public sector's approach to procurement is poised for significant transformation. This Act facilitates faster procurement processes with reduced bureaucracy, directly benefiting public sector entities by allowing them to meet urgent needs efficiently. It also mandates the use of a central digital platform for all procurement activities, ensuring that all processes are transparent and accessible, thereby fostering a fair and competitive environment for all suppliers, especially benefiting SMEs.

Advantages of supplier diversity for SMEs

Access to more contracts

Supplier diversity programs open doors for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by broadening access to contracts previously dominated by larger corporations. By engaging with diverse suppliers, you can tap into a wider range of opportunities, expanding your customer base and potentially boosting your revenue.

Level playing field

The Procurement Act 2023 enhances fairness in public procurement, giving SMEs a fair shot at securing government contracts. This act levels the playing field, ensuring that businesses of all sizes have an equal opportunity to participate and succeed in the competitive marketplace.

Contribution to local economy

Contracting with local SMEs significantly impacts community development by promoting job creation and increasing local spending. As your business thrives through diverse supplier engagements, it contributes to the economic vitality of the community, fostering growth and sustainability at the grassroots level.

Speak to an expert!

Contact us

Related articles...

Made by Statuo