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7 tips to increase SME participation in public procurement

Government spending with SMEs can make a big difference. According to the World Bank, approximately 90 percent of businesses are SMEs and account for half of employment opportunities worldwide, yet governments spend most of their money with large businesses. By contracting more with local SMEs, governments can deliver better and more creative solutions for residents, expand access to economic opportunity, and put taxpayer dollars back into their communities. But low SME participation rates in public procurement means that many governments are missing out.  

Through Lift, our impact accelerator program, we are supporting teams to identify and implement practical strategies to increase opportunities and participation for SMEs, particularly for local women- and minority-owned SMEs, as well as co-create their plans for change. Lift teams working on this issue include the cities of El Paso and Des Moines in the U.S., Mexico City, Mexico, the metropolitan government of Lille, France, or Ekiti State, Nigeria. 

We know that many of our community members want to improve SME participation, too. That’s why I have asked my colleagues to share their insights. Here are some of their tips to help you get started: 

Lay the groundwork


Solicitation, award, and implementation  

Stay tuned for more resources and ideas from us and the Lift community and reach out to us if you are looking for help to improve your own SME engagement.

Image source: Freepik

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