Small businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire urged sign up to local suppliers website

Heather Black (Business in the Community) with Lee Osborne (Federation of Small Businesses)
Coventry supplier event Heather Black BITC Lee Osbourne FSB

Small businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged to join more than 3,600 firms which have signed up to a website to access tender opportunities, an inaugural event heard.

Coventry Building Society, Jaguar Land Rover and Coventry University organised the free Local Supplier Event for small-medium sized (SMEs) companies to find out how to work with some of the region’s largest buying organisations in the private and public sector.

They shared their knowledge and experience on how SMEs in the region can bid for work and build relationships with larger organisations with a focus on those who work in digital, technology, professional services and software; engineering, construction and architects; and legal services.

The delegates heard how over 3,600 businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire have signed up to FinditinCW which is backed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, CWLEP and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce along with Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and the area’s district and borough councils.

More than £27.5 billion of opportunities have been promoted through since it was launched in April 2020 – and Coventry Building Society is the latest high-profile business to announce it will be posting its procurement opportunities on the site.

Justine Chadwick, Account Manager at CWLEP Growth Hub, said there is a real mix of industries already signed up to FinditinCW and with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the horizon, it is a great opportunity to secure new work.

“The aim of the Local Supplier Event was to provide networking and a forum for organisations who are interested in promoting the West Midlands supply chain to give information about how to find procurement tender opportunities and how to supply goods and services to corporate buying teams in the West Midlands,” she said.

“The networking and education event attracted 60 attendees from the West Midlands who are also interested in diversity and inclusion, social value, apprenticeships and the environment.

“More and more organisations are posting their procurement opportunities on FinditinCW and an average of 200 businesses are joining every month to bid for work.”

Rebecca Howard, Head of Supplier Relationship Management at Coventry Building Society, said: “The Coventry Building Society Arena is a fantastic place to share, celebrate and collaborate for the local community, and that includes the business community.

“It was an honour to host a Coventry and West Midlands Supplier Event there, which gave an opportunity for the local supply chain to network and share best practice with potential customers, their peers, local enterprise organisations and incumbent suppliers.”

Pauline Harrison-Johnson, Head of Procurement at Coventry University, added: “At Coventry University, we strive to work together closely with SME businesses. The university is located at the centre of the city and is a key part of the economy. We and our students have a significant impact on the local and regional economy and support thousands of jobs.

“The university is proud to support local businesses, and this is evident in the number of IT/Educational Technology companies that we work with.

“We also rely heavily on local business to support our busy and ambitious construction projects in the city. Coventry University welcomes SMEs and it will be a pleasure to support them over the coming years.”