Headlines: September 26th, 2007

A project is being launched to build the capacity of social enterprises to compete for 2012 contracts and to deliver a dramatic change in the procurement policies of stakeholders.

The Office of the Third Sector is funding the project to help social enterprises access procurement opportunities for 2012. Social Enterprise London will run the project in partnership with the Social Enterprise Coalition, and will work to ensure that Olympic stakeholders and private sector bidders are aware of the value that social enterprises can add to the Olympic legacy.

Independent research will be undertaken to measure the impact of two social enterprise test sites, the data from which will be used to build the business case for social enterprise delivery. Beyond this, a programme of policy-related meetings with key agencies and the publication of quarterly policy updates will help remove existing barriers to social enterprise involvement in the Olympic effort.

Research undertaken by Social Enterprise London has revealed that social enterprises can deliver in the region of half a billion pounds worth of goods and services before, during and after 2012. To make this happen work needs to be done to ensure that the potential of social enterprises is tapped for the Olympic effort.

The three-year project will encompass a range of targeted initiatives to contribute to policy development and facilitate the procurement of Olympic contracts. A series of events across the UK will give the opportunity to build business partnerships and share best practice, both within the social enterprise community and with the corporate and public sectors.

A Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Olympic network will also be launched to give BAME entrepreneurs a platform for voicing needs and priorities, and a 2012 information hub will be hosted at www.sel.org.uk, as a channel for information about procurement opportunities, the development timetable, events, policy and capacity building.