A Consortia Building & Procurement Hub

A joint proposal from Senscot, Social Firms Scotland, Scottish Community Alliance and Cooperative Development Scotland, being funded as part of the Scottish Government’s Early Action Plan in support of the 10 year social enterprise strategy

A Consortia Building & Procurement Hub

We believe that a gap in the current support environment for enterprising third sector suppliers could be solved by introducing a well-resourced and dedicated Consortia Building & Procurement Support Hub – building on the activity currently delivered via Senscot/SFS’s Partnership and Procurement Coordinator role.

This proposal builds on the thinking of Senscot/SFS to support the development of consortia across the sector and is specifically designed to help the many hundreds of community based social enterprises across Scotland to access more of the investment currently being driven through the public procurement market.

Components of the Consortia Building & Procurement Hub

It is envisaged that the Hub would have a number of key components relevant to tender support, drawing on existing resources and information and developing a higher visibility and access to support:

  • Technical/tender writing. The technical knowledge and hard skills required to tender for large contracts which is so lacking within small third sector organisations, and which gives the large outsourcing companies and national charities such an advantage, would need to be imported – potentially learning from the private sector.
  • Consortia building. A deep knowledge of the diversity of our sector and the skills and understanding of how to work across a range of different groups and communities towards the development of effective consortia.

The Hub could sit within any one of the key intermediaries, however, the Hub services would be accessible to any enterprising third sector organisation beyond our respective membership and networks. It would be managed by a cross-sector steering group. We see this proposal as not only tackling one of the key challenges for the sector in gaining better access to the public procurement opportunities, but also facilitating better use of the existing supporting infrastructure and enhancing cross-sector collaboration.