Rob-Driscoll

Rob Driscoll: advising government on SME spending

UK: Rob Driscoll of BESA has joined a group of experts working with the UK government to boost its spending with SMEs.

The Building Engineering Services Association’s legal and commercial director is one of a panel of 24 entrepreneurs and leading business figures which met with government representatives for the first time this week

The advisory panel, boasting a wide range of experience, will work with the government to ensure that by 2020, £1 of every £3 invested by Whitehall in goods and services goes to small and medium-sized enterprises. If achieved, the target would mean almost £3bn of new business up for grabs each year, either directly or through the supply chain.

The Cabinet Office has estimated that 27% of government’s procurement spending, or £12.1bn, reached SMEs in 2014 to 2015, surpassing its target of 25%.

An advisory panel supported this work and a number of its members are continuing to work with government towards its aim to increase its spending with SMEs to 33% by 2020.

“The business experts will play a vital role to help us increase spending with SMEs, which are the lifeblood of the UK economy,” commented minister for the cabinet office and paymaster general Ben Gummer.

“These 24 business experts from across the UK will help government improve the procurement process so it is simpler, clearer and faster for SMEs,” added civil service chief executive and permanent secretary for the cabinet office John Manzoni.

Leading entrepreneur and crown representative for SMEs Emma Jones MBE, the founder of small business support group Enterprise Nation, and the co-founder of the national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, will work closely with the 24 experts to help more small businesses in the UK bid for and win government contracts.