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Scottish Government Helping Supported Businesses

Steps by The Scottish Government to level the playing field for social enterprises and supported businesses to secure public sector contracts were introduced at the end of last year. Through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS), buyers are able to reserve contracts to supported businesses when publishing a notice under Article 19, an element of a 2004 European Union directive. This step however does not give supported businesses an automatic right to contracts – they must provide a strong value-for-money bid to secure the business, usually in competition with other supported businesses. Since 2008, PCS, along with Social Enterprise Academy and Community Enterprise in Strathclyde, has delivered guidance, training and skills to almost 600 social enterprises and other third sector businesses including supported businesses and supported factories to help them submit competitive bids for public sector contracts. Supported businesses and factories have a valuable role in assisting people with disabilities to integrate into the labour market and in helping to improve their overall independence and wellbeing.