Almost 5000 businesses across the county have signed up to CompeteFor.com, the free on-line procurement portal that enables businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to the London 2012 Games and other major public and private sector buying organisations, such as Crossrail, the Metropolitan Police and most London Local Authorities.
Funded by the regional development agencies, including the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), and Devolved Authorities, CompeteFor brings businesses closer to accessing new opportunities relevant to their sector and has to date, helped businesses in the East of England win over £1bn worth of contracts for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Councillor Stephen Castle, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games and Chairman of Nations and Regions in the East of England, commented ‘It’s extremely gratifying to see the variety of businesses across Essex that have signed up to the CompeteFor website. Over 400 contracts have been awarded to businesses across the region via the CompeteFor website, over 200 of which are businesses here in Essex. It isn’t too late to sign up and win London 2012 business so I would urge businesses in the county to sign up and find out how they can make the most of the Games coming to the UK and Essex’.
There are currently over £200m of London 2012 contracts still available, many of which will be advertised via www.competefor.com
Will Pope, Chair of EEDA, commented ‘It’s pleasing to see that our investment in CompeteFor has provided businesses in the region with the opportunities to win contracts, even more so when nearly 70% of the awards made via the site have included SMEs. With just under six months to go to the start of London 2012, the opportunities continue to grow, with both the Crossrail project and the Metropolitan Police adding contract opportunities to the site’.
Colchester-based marketing and communications company KAT Creativ Ltd, took the opportunity to sign up to the CompeteFor scheme back in 2007 and successfully beat 45 other businesses, to win their first contract in 2008 which was to develop an online registration system for a free 2012 event.
Director, Claire Hunt had only ten days to develop the process until it went live. Over a six-week period, they registered 300 people and dealt with queries arising. As a result of this success, she won further business to develop another registration site for the London Business Network, her relationships with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills continues. KAT Creativ have won further contracts with the East of England Development agency to deliver a series of workshops for CompeteFor and Business Readiness.
Claire comments, ‘My experience with the CompeteFor team has been superb, as they are so helpful. As an online tendering process it’s very, very simple – that’s the greatest joy.
'In the old days you’d have to make five copies of a 50-page document, but with this you fill in all the information online and when a potential employer wants to ask a specific question, it’s the sort of thing that will only take 15 minutes. Most of all, it means small businesses are not excluded from bidding and it puts you on a level playing field’.