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Help your business make new contacts with help from the Supplier Development Programme

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Meet the Buyer North 2021.
Meet the Buyer North 2021.


Stability, predictability, sustainability, quick wins and long term contracts – the public sector could offer an ideal customer profile.

The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is a business support initiative using training and information to help micro, small and medium sized businesses support in all aspects of tendering. SDP is a partnership of Local Authorities, Scottish Government and other public bodies working together to help businesses become ready to tender for contracts.

With public procurement processes that require a more formal tendering approach than some private sector opportunities, SDP improves the prospects of SMEs when competing throughout Scotland where there is an annual public spend of £12.6billion. SDP delivers this support through training and events, currently all online. Once your business is registered, you can access all of the support for free. Whether just starting out with public contracts or as an experienced bidder, the UK and international market place, particularly the EU, offers small businesses extensive opportunities.

Meet the Buyer North 2021.
Meet the Buyer North 2021.

Meet the Buyer North Virtual Event 7 September 2021

The Supplier Development Programme will hold the 4th Annual Meet the Buyer North event online on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 with headline partners, Scottish Government and Scottish Procurement Alliance.

Meet the Buyer North 2021 will see online exhibitors from the public sector, private contractors and business support providers. This free event affords suppliers that wish to do business with the public sector in the Highlands and Islands the chance to network 1-to-1 with buyers and decision makers from across the public and private sectors, all from the comfort of your own screen. Businesses will be able to meet procurement teams from local councils, alongside other public and private sector buying organisations.

Meet the Buyer North 2021.
Meet the Buyer North 2021.

Exciting Speakers and Presentations

On behalf of the Supplier Development Programme Board, Diane Beattie, Moray Council Payments Manager and Fiona Conti, Strategic Procurement Manager at Aberdeenshire, City and Highland Council Shared Procurement Service, will deliver a joint welcome to attendees. Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism & Enterprise is confirmed to deliver an opening address, subject to Parliamentary business. The Scottish Procurement Alliance will also deliver a presentation which will be of particular interest to micro and small businesses based in Highland Council, Moray Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council, as well as other businesses in the North of Scotland.

Click on the Power of Procurement Stage and the Let’s Do Net Zero Stage to access a packed agenda with speakers throughout the day on hot topics in the North of Scotland such as Net Zero Toolkits, spaceports, Growth Deals, Community Wealth Building strategies, the Climate Change emergency in public sector procurement, Fair Work First, how to bring innovation to the public sector, and importantly, COVID-19 economic recovery plans with links to sustainable, open and transparent procurement.

Speakers and expert staff will be available to answer questions in live Q&A sessions, and you will also hear top tips for tendering from the Supplier Development Programme. This is the second year in a row that this event will be held as a virtual event - and 90% of Scottish SMEs and supported businesses were more likely to bid for public sector contracts after attending last year’s. Non-SME suppliers are also eligible to attend and must register an account with SDP to book a place.

Register a free account with the Supplier Development Programme here and book your free place for the event here.

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