SME Toolkit for Social Value

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Social Value Guidance for Buyers and Suppliers


According to the UK Federation of Small Businesses, small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2017 and represent 60% of all private sector employment in the UK and account for at least 99.5% of organisations in every main industry sector. The combined annual turnover of SMEs in the UK (2017) was £1.9 trillion, equivalent to 51% of global private sector turnover in the UK. This is also why past and current UK Governments have put SMEs at the heart of their strategy, particularly their public procurement agenda.

Since its implementation the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 has begun to transform the relationship between the public sector and business creating a more responsible supply chain that recognises that to win work with the public sector business needs to do more that deliver a services on time and to budget.

Naturally, there is a concern that by including social value into public sector contracting this will create additional burden that will make it harder for SMEs and VCSEs to win public sector work.

However, there is now clear evidence that including social value into contracts actually increases the chance of an SME or VCSE winning business for the very reason that they are usually local and almost always employ local people. They are also very likely to already be working with local schools or supporting people back into work. Indeed, local government actually award over 50% of all contracts (by value) to SMEs significantly out performing central government who languish almost 50% behind their declared target to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs or VCSEs.

This guidance has been specifically designed to provide practical advice on how buyers can make it easier for SMEs and VCSEs to win work and what SMEs and VCSEs can do to increase their chances of winning work through social value.

The National Social Value Task Force

This work has been developed by the National Social Value Task Force with the support of a number of other contributors including:

  • Guy Battle, CEO, The Social Value Portal
  • Terry Brewer, Head of Public Sector, The Social Value Portal
  • Haydn Brown, Category Head, Procurement Strategy & Development, Birmingham City Council
  • Samantha Butler, Department Culture, Media and Sport
  • Arnab Dutt, Small business owner, Social Value Lead, Federation of Small Businesses
  • David Gigg, Crown Commercial Services
  • Cindy Nadesan, Contract and Supply Manager, Orbis
  • John Tizard, Chair, NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action)
  • Gus Tugendhat, Founder and CEO, Tussell

Download the Social Value Easy Guide for Buyers, SMEs and VCSEs via the button below.

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