engage magazine issue 001 spring \'06 - Page 43

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 43 Special Feature £100 company Serco will take over the running of the Despite these successes, however, there is capital’s small business support unit next year evidence that BAME-owned businesses encounter after signing a £60m agreement with the London disproportionate barriers to the development and Development Agency. The move will ensure that growth of their businesses - particularly in securing thousands of small business entrepreneurs will contracts and accessing start-up and growth finance, continue to receive the free support they need to affordable business premises, quality business both start up new enterprises and expand existing support and international trade opportunities. ones to help London maintain its position as Europe’s The competitiveness, growth and survival of economic powerhouse. businesses rely on their ability to compete for, Over the three years, the company is anticipated and win, contracts. The public sector offers huge to provide support for more than half of London’s opportunities for most SMEs irrespective of size businesses. Serco will be responsible for ensuring all or sector. In 2002-3 over £100 billion of contracts businesses can access free information online or via were placed in the public sector in the UK, of telephone 24 hours a day-seven days a week. It will which half were from local authorities. There is a provide information, diagnostic and growing belief that SMEs generally brokerage services which will include are not maximising opportunities “The LDA has a key advice on how firms can tap into made available through public role in facilitating, 2012 Olympic business opportunities. procurement. And more specifically, driving forward and Serco will also help businesses access anecdotal evidence suggests that leading on BAME other support providers in both the BAME-owned businesses are public and private sectors. especially disadvantaged in the business support”. The LDA, through its Procurement public procurement market and Development Programme (PDP), continues to are under-represented in the supply base of many promote the benefits of using BAME suppliers to public sector organisations. The public sector offers purchasing organisations across the capital. great opportunities for businesses, yet BAME-owned PDP is a flagship London Development Agency businesses are under-represented among public initiative which seeks to create greater opportunities sector contractors. A number of public funded for small & medium enterprises to effectively initiatives are addressing this. compete for the millions of pounds of contracts The LDA has made a commitment to support offered by major public sector and statutory bodies and develop BAME-owned businesses in the capital. within London. The programme specifically seeks Ensuring that small and medium sized businesses to establish greater accessibility for SMEs within have access to the right type of support is a key area the procurement practices of the ɕѕȁ1ٕЁȁѡ1ѡɥ䁅́չѥ̀ѡɕѕȁQ1́ɽхѥɥ٥1ѡɥ䀡1ѡ1ٕЁ݅ɐ 5ͥ́и䀡1QɅЁȁ1Q0ѡQ䁥́݅ɔѡЁѡɔ́Ѽɔ5ɽхAѡɥ䀡5Aѡ1ѡх䁽 5Ё٥ɔɝAѡɥ䀡1Aɕ͔ѡ䁽 5Ёɝͅѥ́]ЁA@́ͥѼЁѼ 5ͥ́٥͕쁕ɔѡЁѡ1éM5̰Ё́䁑ͥхɝѕѥѥٔͥ́Ё́ձ䁅͕ͥ́ݡ͕́ѡ́͵մѡ͕ȁɕمЁѼѡ 5쁕ɔѡЁ܁ͥ镐͕ͥ́ɽ 5ͥ́ЁɽՍ́ɔѕ䁵ɥ䁕ѡ 5ɽչāѡȁم쁅͕ѡЁЁ́ɽɥєѼѡͅمхɽ̀Ցݽɕ՝̰ٕхх 5͕ͥ̀ͅչɕɕ̤ݥѠ危ɔхнхеɽѠ͕̰͕ͥѽȤɽɅхɝ́ȁ=ѡéȁٕՕ́ȁѥɕѥٔɽM5́́ѡɽ՝́ ͥ́1Ʌ̸M٥()%԰ѡ1չѡ 5 ͥ́ѥAѼЁѡɥ́Ѽͥ́ɽѠѡхé 5ݹѕɥ̸͕ݥɕ͕ɍѡ1չѡЁ 5ݹ͕ͥ́չѕȁɽѥєɥ́ѼѡȁٕЁɽѠѡȁ̸͕ͥ́ɕձЁѡɕѥ́ݥѡѡɕ͕ɍɕаѡѥ͕ͥɕ̀ͥ́Ё٥ͥ̃Չɥمє͕ѽȁɅ̰ѕɹѥ())ͥ́ɕ͕̰ѹ́͡ɵѥɅٕЁфɕ͕ɍ)MAI%9%MMU؁((0