Worth taking part: public procurements offer entrepreneurs billions of euros of business annually
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has granted Suomen Yrittäjät €280,000 to provide its advisory service in 2020. SY has received funding for its advisory services since 2017.
The goal of the advisory services is to enhance dialogue between municipalities and businesses. For example, advisers guide municipalities on how to write calls for tenders in a way that includes small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Another significant role advisers play is encouraging and guiding businesses in participating in public procurements – in other words, responding to calls for tenders.
“Public procurements offer entrepreneurs at least €35 billion in business every year. Procurements offer them significant business opportunities. When successful, these procurements then make the local area more vibrant and business-friendly,” says Janika Tikkala, an expert in business policy at Suomen Yrittäjät.
Free advice for everyone
The advisory service is free of charge and open to all businesses. It is not-for-profit and does not compete with commercial consultancy.
“Our procurement advice gives companies a lower threshold to participate in public procurements. This strengthens competition and the effectiveness of public sector finances. Without procurement advice, the purchaser would continue to have a huge infrastructure behind it, while small businesses would be on their own when it came to the process,” says Susanna-Sofia Keskinarkaus, the procurement adviser in Lapland.
“The Suomen Yrittäjät advisory services are critically important to Finnish SMEs, because no other organization offers businesses free expert help in public procurements,” says Keskinarkaus.
Under the current Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts, tenders must be arranged in a way that allows SMEs and other organizations to take part in them on an equal footing with other participants.
National coverage and information
Suomen Yrittäjät distributes its ministerial grant to its 20 regional associations to provide advisory services across Finland, close to businesses and local authorities.
“The Suomen Yrittäjät procurement advisers have nationwide coverage and precise insight into the state of procurements in different regions,” says Keskinarkaus.
“The advice is available close to companies and purchasers. Each procurement adviser knows the parties to the tender and the specifics of the local area,” says Tikkala.
You can find the procurement advisers’ contact details here.