Goldman Sach's conference looks at supply chains and small enterprises

Supply chain opportunities for small and medium enterprises were the subject of a recent conference aimed at alumni of Goldman Sach's 10,000 Small Businesses programme.

Opening up private and public sector supply chains for small businesses is an important topic, and while there has been much progress, many challenges still remain.

- Mark Hart,
Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Aston Business School
Subjects discussed at the conference included initiatives to provide financial support for small businesses to enable them to engage with supply chains, and work by large companies on developing more diverse and open supply chains. 

Business in the Community's Access Pledge, through which businesses can commit to making their supply chain and tendering processes more open, transparent and fair for SMEs was one of those presented.

"By buying from SMEs, large businesses can help them grow and create local jobs and sustainable communities while also benefiting from their creativity, growth and innovation," said Robert Tate, BITC.  "This is why, working together with procurement professionals, Business in the Community has developed The Access Pledge.  By taking the Pledge, and working to make their business fair, transparent and open, large businesses are allowing SMEs to compte for their business on a level playing field."

Several speakers, including Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, stressed the importance of developing working relationships between large firms and their smaller suppliers, which can in turn drive innovation.

Accompanying the speaker sessions were a number of practical workshops on subjects including developing a green supply chain and preparing for the public procurement process. 

Goldman Sach's 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme ius designed to help the leaders of established SMEs and social enterprises grow their companies, through provision of a high-quality package of support and expertise.  Over 500 small business leaders have participated since 2010, with around 250 joining the programme each year.  For more information, see the 10,000 Small Businesses pages on Goldman Sach's website.