07/01/2010

Belfast Means Business, Says Council

Details of a new business development programme, aimed at supporting Belfast companies to identify sales opportunities within both the public and private sectors has been announced.

Belfast City Council has begun the Smarter Procurement Programme that targets small businesses and social enterprises that have the desire to bid or tender for contracts but lack the knowledge and experience of public and private sector procurement.

Available to only ten companies within the Belfast City Council area, the programme will include five workshops on identifying tender opportunities; understanding tender documentation; constructing a tender bid and understanding tender scoring and feedback.

Participants on the programme will also be allocated an experienced business mentor and a total of 15 hours mentoring on the programme.
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Councillor William Humphrey, Chairman of the Development Committee, said: "Targeting the public sector, particularly, can be a daunting prospect for many small businesses and social enterprises, and too often the challenges facing these companies can be too challenging and time consuming and require tendering knowledge many are unfamiliar with.

"Through the Smarter Procurement Programme, we aim to support local businesses with no experience in tendering and help them to develop the skills and knowledge which will allow them to enter into this market," he said.

This Smarter Procurement Programme is supported by Belfast City Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

The closing date for applications is Friday 29 January and for further information on the business development programme, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/businessprogrammes

(BMcC/GK)

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