The public sector (e.g. councils and governments), and some larger private sector businesses, have a requirement to purchase goods and services from private business.  The process for businesses to bid in order to win their business is referred to as tendering or procurement.

Further Information

Public Sector Procurement

Businesses may bid to provide goods or services to public sector organisations either through a direct contract or as a sub-contractor.  The public sector marketplace is vast and includes; National Health Services, schools, universities, Local and Regional Government, Central Government, housing associations, emergency services and more.

Benefits of public sector customers are that they’ll decide which supplier to use through an open and fair process, usually pay promptly and are longstanding.

Ways to find out about opportunities to sell your goods or services to the public sector include;

  • Online portals
  • Your local council – find out how to become an approved supplier
  • Newspaper and trade magazine advertisements

Private Sector Procurement

Ways to find out about opportunities to sell your goods or services to private sector companies include:

  • Networking with other businesses
  • Advertisements in newspapers and trade magazines
  • Building contacts with potential customers

Tendering is a very competitive process and businesses should address all of the buyer’s specific requirements within any bid they submit.  It is crucial that businesses only bid for contracts they are confident they can deliver efficiently.

Useful Links

Sell good or services to the public sector – this link takes you guidance, tender portals and contacts for searching opportunities to sell to the public sector.

Contracts Finder link here takes you to the portal for searching for public sector contracts worth over £10,000 in England and with non-devolved public bodies.

SMEs: A guide to working with government is a Government-produced guide to help SMEs bid for and win government contracts.


Gov.UK | Doing business with government: guide for SMEs –

Tender Opportunities Search:

Supplying the South West Portal – provides a user friendly, intuitive process to advertise all open tenders and quotation opportunities for councils in the South West. The procurement portal is FREE to join for businesses –

Sell2Plymouth – Enabling businesses to register once for public sector contracts in the city –

Defence Suppliers Service – Advice and guidance to companies wishing to sell their products and services to the MOD, either directly or as potential sub-contractors to MOD prime contractors –

Gov.UK | Contracts Finder – search for information about contracts worth over £10,000 with the government and its agencies –

Bluelight | Emergency Services eTendering site

Tenders Electronic Daily – Procurement notices for high value public sector contracts from the EU and beyond –

Enterprise Europe Network | Live Global Partnering Opportunities – Search for SME and academic partners to manufacture, distribute, co-develop and supply your products, ideas and services –

The Digital Marketplace – Lets you supply people, technology and research services for public sector digital projects –

To find out how the Growth Hub can help your business, contact our team today on 03456 047 047 or use our online form

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