Statement of Best Practice on Partnership Working between larger businesses or VCSE organisations and SMEs

21 Apr 2021

The Business Services Association (BSA) today publishes a Statement of Best Practice on Partnership Working between larger businesses or VCSE organisations and SMEs.

Better partnership working and involvement of SMEs brings benefits to partners and clients, to the economy and to society as a whole. Larger organisations benefit from a healthy and more diverse supply chain, SMEs can benefit from the capacity, support and reach of larger organisations, and together they can achieve more.

The document looks at ways in which partnership working has been developing and improving in recent years, and why this should continue to happen.  It then shares some specific examples of best practice which BSA members have put into effect and which it hopes will be adopted elsewhere.

It highlights some of the challenges faced by SMEs and identifies five routes to best practice in partnership working between larger and smaller organisations:

  • Actively Encouraging SME Partners and Supply Chains
  • Prompt Payment
  • Aligning Objectives
  • Social Value
  • Building Relationships with SME Partners and Supply Chains

Mark Fox, Chief Executive of the BSA, said: 

“Everyone needs to contribute in full if the UK is to recover quickly, sustainably and equitably.  

That means the public sector, and private sector and VCSE organisations large and small, together in harness, working towards the same common goals.

This Statement sets out some examples of what has been achieved. But we are all on a journey, and we recognise that much more needs to be done. We hope this Statement will highlight examples which all larger businesses can learn from and adopt.

We are grateful to all BSA members involved in drawing up this Statement, and to the Federation of Small Businesses for their advice and support and for endorsing its principles. 

This is an example of the sort of the collaboration we need if we are going truly to build back better in the months and years ahead”.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

“Strong partnerships between businesses of all sizes is essential to our goal of levelling up the whole country and making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

This welcome statement from the BSA highlights the importance of businesses working together and paying their partners on time, and builds on the government’s work with the Small Business Commissioner to tackle the toxic issue of late payments.”

Notes to Editors

The BSA represents large and small business and VCSE providers of services and infrastructure projects across the private and public services. Its members deliver ICT, BPO, facilities management, construction and infrastructure services, managed public services and some professional services such as banking, accountancy, consultancy, and legal services. Some BSA members are micro, small or medium-sized enterprises; others work closely with thousands of SMEs as supply chain partners or in other ways.

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