Supporting Scotland’s Third Sector
Partnership for Procurement (P4P)
9 August 2017
New partnership initiative, Partnership for Procurement (P4P), is a resource for supporting smaller, locally based third sector organisations and social enterprise(s) open to the idea of partnership working, cross sector / geography collaborations and consortia - aimed at informing and designing ‘better’ local services, scaling up and/or delivering more. P4P will deliver a range of practical information and support, for identifying and responding effectively to, emerging commissioning / procurement opportunities.
In December 2016, the Scottish Government published Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy, which introduced the framework and long term ambition for working with and developing the social enterprise sector. Following this, a three-year action plan set out the steps which key stakeholders, partners and decision-makers in the public and third sector will take forward to deliver on the vision for a ‘flourishing social enterprise sector’ in Scotland.
P4P will deliver on the three key priorities set out in this action plan to: stimulate social enterprise activity, develop stronger organisations and realise market opportunity. This initiative, developed in partnership with Social Firms Scotland, Scottish Community Alliance, Co-operative Development Scotland and led by Senscot, has access to a collective membership of around 2000 plus third sector organisations.
Angus Hardie, Director, Scottish Community Alliance, said "P4P is a fantastic opportunity for third sector organisations who want to access the public procurement market but currently feel at a disadvantage - either because they don't have sufficient scale or the internal capacity to complete the tendering process. By providing the right kind of specialist support, P4P aims to correct a longstanding imbalance in the public procurement playing field."
Securing greater public sector investment for the sector from procurement opportunities will be the ultimate aim and P4P will provide support to social enterprises and other third sector organisations looking to form partnerships and consortia in their efforts to access more of the investment currently being driven through the public procurement market.
The suite of support will include: an ongoing programme of engagement, events, surgeries and promotion on the benefits of partnership and consortia working as well as a series of online tools, which will include templates on best practice; tender ready documents; key learning points and checklist of mandatory documents.
Will Tyler-Greig, Head of Social Enterprise at the Scottish Government said “Social enterprises are businesses that trade for the common good, with profits reinvested in a social or environmental mission. I’m delighted that, as part of Scotland’s new 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy, the P4P team will work with social enterprises and others right across Scotland, helping to support new partnerships and increasing the sector’s ‘readiness’ to bid collaboratively for public contracts.
In addition, the team will be on hand to deliver technical knowledge, resources and practical skills required to tender for public sector contracts.
As a ‘first’, this year’s, 9th annual Meet the Buyer event, organised by Supplier Development Programme (SDP), will include a dedicated Social Enterprise Zone hosted by P4P. The zone will also provide access to dedicated support agencies; Ready for Business and Co-operative Development Scotland. We will also have third sector consortia colleagues who will be on-hand to share their tendering experience.
Pauline Graham, CEO at Social Firms Scotland said “We are delighted to showcase social enterprise in Scotland as part of Meet the Buyer this year since the Scottish Government has now launched a 10-year strategy for the sector with a key priority being to realise market opportunities for social enterprise. The aim of our newly launched Partnership for Procurement (P4P), is to provide the necessary support that social enterprises need to compete effectively for public contracts and having a dedicated Social Enterprise Zone will provide an excellent opportunity to connect the supplier community with buyers across the public sector”.
For more information about the range of support and information available for Partnership for procurement (P4P) visit
Register now for this year’s Meet the Buyer event
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