Access to Public Procurement by Ethnic Minority Firms: Some Evidence from London

Smallbone, David, Athayde, Rosemary and Meng, Liying (2007) Access to Public Procurement by Ethnic Minority Firms: Some Evidence from London. In: ISBE Conference, 7-9 November 2007, Glasgow, Scotland.

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This paper represents some initial findings from an ongoing project concerned with supplier diversity. The paper aims to contribute to the policy debate concerning the use of public by ethnic minority enterprises and small firms in the UK, based on recent experience on the ground with local authorities in London. It is recognised at a national policy level that public procurement contracts represent a potential opportunity for small firms and BAMEs, seeking to break into new markets, although the evidence base of the experience of public procurement officers on the ground is limited. As far as black and ethnic minority firms are concerned, increased access to procurement contracts represents an opportunity to diversify into higher value added activity than the retailing and catering establishments, which traditionally have accounted for a high proportion of BAME activity in Britain. The first part of the paper comprises a review of the existing evidence base with respect to the barriers experienced by small firms in seeking to access procurement contracts, together with the UK policy context. The primary research evidence on which the project is based was gathered in London, the West Midlands and the East of England between November 2006-June 2007 (consisting of a total of approximately 50 in-depth interviews), of the procurement practice and experience of a selection of local authorities and other public bodies. Since empirical data gathered in the West Midlands and East of England is still being analysed, this paper focuses on the evidence from London. The procurement practices and policies and practices of 14 public bodies in London are analysed, with a classification presented based on diversity activities. Preliminary conclusions and policy implications are also included.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 15:21
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2020 15:21

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