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How to bid for public sector work in a consortium

Bristol University -A University of Bristol engineer, Andrew Crossley, is the lead author of a new guide on how to form consortia of small businesses to bid for public sector work. The guide was launched in Swansea yesterday [Monday 21 October] by Jane Hutt, AM the Minster for Finance of the Welsh Government.

Nearly 200 fourth year engineering students at the University of Bristol take the popular option ‘Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

’ each year. They work in small groups to create a plan to start a new business. The best of these ideas can become viable business propositions and receive financial backing.


A frequent challenge for new small start-up firms is how to access public sector work. The answer is to jointly bid with a more established business partner then to share the work between the members of the newly created consortium. This is different to a traditional ‘supply chain’ – it is more equitable on risk and reward.

The new Joint Bidding Guide will help steer Bristol’s budding entrepreneurs through the process of finding opportunities, finding new business partners and then jointly bidding for the substantial volume of public sector contracts available in the UK.  In Wales alone over £4 billion a year is spent on public sector procurement.