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How to Get into Major Supply Chains: FREE PROGRAMME

10th November 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Interested in tendering for work to become a supplier to large projects, companies and/or organisations like Birmingham City Council?

Most smaller companies feel locked out of major supply chains. This is your chance to break into this lucrative marketplace and tender for major contracts.

If you sell products or services and would like to become a supplier to large projects, companies and/or public sector bodies like Birmingham City Council, then please read on. Please note you must register by Monday 1st November.

Diverse Supply Chains is a unique opportunity for businesses based in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP who have at least one owner or director who is a:

  • Woman (particularly women with children) or
  • Ethnic minority or
  • Person who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT+) or
  • Person with limiting disabilities or
  • Young Entrepreneur (16-25 years)

to win business from major UK supply chains.

This fully funded project will give you the knowledge and skills you need for tendering and will put you in front of the wealth of opportunities available. With big players like HS2 and Balfour Beatty Vinci on board, as well as public sector bodies who send out invitations to tender such as Birmingham City Council, you are guaranteed to find amazing opportunities for your business and make vital connections.

Aston Business School, in conjunction with NatWest, Birmingham City Council, HS2, Balfour Beatty Vinci, The Midlands Engine and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, has pioneered the perfect 4-month programme to help your business to

  • Prepare for tendering- get you and your business ready to bid for major contracts
  • Understand the process and how to win tenders
  • Meet representatives from the supply chain- putting your business in front of major buyers

You will be invited to ten 2-hour on-line workshops as well as have the opportunity to get 1-2-1 support and apply for a match funded grant of £2,500 to help you take your next step.

The workshops will focus on:

  • Key areas that suppliers need to consider when bidding for work, e.g. sustainability, environmental policy, equality & diversity policy etc.
  • Procurement
  • Effective product/service positioning and marketing
  • Raising aspirations and confidence

There will also be one-to-one coaching, promoting leadership skills and confidence through surgery events.

This programme is exclusively available to SMEs (companies with less than 249 employees and under £40m turnover) in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP which includes Bromsgrove, Redditch, Lichfield, Tamworth, Wyre Forest, Cannock Chase and East Staffordshire.

The first workshop is from 10-12:30pm on Wednesday 10th November.

You need to complete a short application form to join the programme and we will assist you in completing this.

The full list of workshops and with dates and times are below:

Is your business ready to enter the supply chains market? An introduction to Procurement- Private Sector

10-12:30pm on Wed 10th November

We will show you the key areas that you need to consider when bidding for work. You will discover the procurement practices of larger corporations and you can create a winning bid.

An introduction to Procurement in the Public Sector from Birmingham City Council

10-12:30pm on Wed 24th November

Birmingham City Council show you how to tender for work in the public sector area. Win more work from councils, universities and other public sector organisations.

Importance of GDPR and Cyber Security when putting a bid together

10-12:30pm on Wed 8th December

We will show you how your business can overcome these important requirements.

The Importance of Social Values and CSR when Putting a Bid Together

10-12:30pm on Wed 15th December

Suppliers look for your commitment to social values and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is no longer just about the bottom line. It is what you are doing to help the community around your business.

Effective Product and Service Positioning

10-12:30pm on Wed 12th January 2022

You have to market your products or services effectively. The look and feel of your marketing does matter. Your position in the market is very important. Position refers to the buyer’s perception of your brand, product or service compared to competing brands, products or services. For example, is your company positioned as cutting edge, innovative, reliable, cost-effective etc.

Digital Marketing

10-12:30pm on Wed 26th January 2022

Digital marketing is vital for any business. It includes your web site, apps, social media, e-mail and digital presence such as in search engines, paid digital ads etc. Find out why it is important for your bids to be successful.

Promoting Leadership Skills

10-12:30pm on Wed 9th February

This session will allow business owners to gain useful insights about leadership skills and how to scale up their business strategies for successful tendering.

Promoting Confidence

10-12:30pm on Wed 23rd February

This vital workshop helps business owners to gain the confidence they need to scale up their business and compete for tenders from major businesses and organisations.

Completing Accreditation and Pre-Qualification Questionnaires and Achieving Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance

10-12:30pm on Wed 2nd March

A pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) is a list of questions relating to the basic criteria that a supplier must meet when applying for a contract. This workshop will cover the requirements for attaining Health, Safety, Environmental and CDM Compliance for your business. In addition, businesses will be given guidance and tips on how to attain SSIP accreditation, the pitfalls to avoid when completing accreditation assessments and how to make the most use of the accreditation memberships once obtained.

How to Complete a Bid

10-12:30pm on Wed 16th March

This workshop will cover the key aspects and things to look out for when putting a bid together.

This ends the workshop programme.

One-to-one surgery sessions

9-5pm on Wednesday 23rd March

You can book sessions online with a set of experts from Aston University, Birmingham City Council, HS2, Natwest and other partner organisations. This 1-2-1 support ensures that you achieve the right result for your business.

This free event is a part of the Diverse Supply Chains Project activities. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


10th November 2021
10:00 am - 12:30 pm


The Technology Supply Chain C.I.C.