Ministers urge Ireland's SMEs to bid for more tenders

22nd October 2013

Minister of State for Public Service Reform, Brian Hayes has called on the nation’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of the increasing public procurement opportunities for State contracts.
 
Representatives from more than 800 SMEs were invited to attend a “Meet the Buyer” event in Dublin, organised by InterTradeIreland, which seeks to demonstrate the wealth of opportunities to small businesses in the public procurement sector that is thought to be worth €12.2bn.
 
Minister, Brian Hayes told attendees that there are numerous opportunities for SMEs willing to capitalise on public tenders.
 
The event was also addressed by the State’s chief procurement officer, Paul Quinn, who also reiterated that further reform of public procurement would result in improvements to the tender process, which many SMEs typically avoid due to previous experience involving difficult negotiations.
 
“State contracts represent a huge opportunity for SMEs to win steady business and maintain stable cash flow,” said Quinn.
 
A number of leading public sector organisations, including the Health Service Executive, Northern Ireland Electricity, An Garda Siochana, Central Bank of Ireland, Irish Rail, NI Water and ESB Networks, met with SME owners at the event to improve awareness of the kinds of service they put out to tender.
 
At present just one-in-ten Irish SMEs are winning those public sector contracts and businessman, Tony Corrigan has launched a new company called TenderScout, designed to help those small firms get a bigger share of those tenders.
 
TenderScout has already secured a grant of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme, with the aim of translating complex public procurement data to SMEs in clear, comparable and useful information.

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