Working with HIE

Useful websites

  • Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is the arm of Scottish Enterprise working in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise that supports company growth through co-ownership and collaborative business models. They offer advice to help you choose and implement the best co-operative business model for your organisation. They also deliver succession advice.
  • The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is a local authority partnership established to provide public sector procurement training for SME’s and the Third Sector. If you’re interested in working with the public sector, the SDP can help. Supported by Scottish Government’s Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership, SDP works with other business support organisations including Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, and Ready for Business. This is a free service offering expert training, support and information to help you win work and grow your business.

    Scottish SMEs and third sector organisations (including supported businesses) will be able to take advantage of a new range of free procurement - related workshops from the Supplier Development Programme.  Covering key topics such as Introduction to Tendering, Using Public Contracts Scotland, and completing the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), the courses will be held across Scotland at Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.

    In addition to face-face courses, the Programme will also deliver all workshops online via live webinars, which are accessible from a home or office computer. The webinars cover a range of topics including Introduction to Tendering, Understanding the Public Contracts Scotland website and an explanation of tendering Procedures and Thresholds. 
  • Just Enterprise is a consortium formed from Scotland's key social enterprise support agencies. Collectively, they are able to provide expert Start Up, Business Support, Business Recovery, Procurement, Leadership and Learning Services, to third sector organisations across the length and breadth of the country. Supported by Scottish Government, they are committed to ensuring that Scotland's enterprising third sector is able to grow sustainably in a challenging economic climate. Tailor made workshops & consultancy are amongst some of the services they can provide.
  • The Online Supplier Journey explains the process of awarding a public sector contract in straightforward terms; sets out what buyers expect you to do at each stage in that process; gives practical information on how you can find out about business opportunities; how to bid for business; what to expect when delivering the contract and tells you what support is available to help you win business, and what you can do if you are unsuccessful.
  • The Single Point of Enquiry is an independent, impartial and confidential service for suppliers to the public sector in Scotland.

    We can help you by offering advice on the procurement rules which must be followed by public bodies in Scotland and information on how contracts are advertised and awarded.

    If you have concerns about a specific tender exercise, we can work with you and the buying organisation to try to resolve your concerns.

    We do not have formal powers to investigate suppliers' concerns or change decisions made by buying organisations.

    Feedback from suppliers contributes to improvements in public procurement practices in Scotland. 
  • Business Gateway also offers practical help, advice and support for new and growing businesses in Scotland. Business Link and Department for Business Innovation & Skills provide details of public contract opportunities elsewhere across the UK.
  • Learn Direct Online course for securing a public sector contract on the learndirect business website (registration required). 
  • The SSE Highlands and Islands Gateway Initiative portal is welcomed and supported by HIE. SSE recognises that it has a significant role to play in contributing to the economic well-being and sustainable development of the communities it operates within. SSE is therefore committed to demonstrating exemplar levels of engagement with local suppliers. Quite simply, SSE wants to become the best in the Highlands and Islands at engaging with the local and SME communities and be the most 'Open for Business' company in the region. The new portal will enable suppliers to register free and bid for work with SSE.  Registered organisations can also advertise their own opportunities to the local supplier base for free (e.g. sub-contracting work for SSE projects).
  • TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) is the official website for publication of high value public contract opportunities across the EU. TED is the online version of the 'Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union', dedicated to European public procurement.
  • The Enterprise Europe Network provides access to a comprehensive range of specialist and advisory services helping companies to develop their businesses in Europe including details on Public Procurement. Having difficulty in trading in Europe? Your feedback would be appreciated. 
  • Constructionline provides useful information on a range of construction projects across the UK.
  • Sell2wales is the official website for public contract opportunities in Wales.
  • Central Procurement Directorate Northern Ireland is the official website for public contract opportunities in Northern Ireland.
  • Innovate UK SBRI programme
    The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a well established process to connect public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry, supporting companies to generate economic growth and enabling improvement in achieving government objectives. It generates new business opportunities for companies, provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a route to market for their ideas and bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early stage companies. It supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services through the public procurement of research and development (R&D).
  • CEiS Provide a range of independent and professional business support services and business finance solutions for social and community enterprises.
  • The Social Enterprise Academy believe in the power of learning and development to deliver personal, organisational, and sector growth.
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