New figures show that almost half of the UK’s total public sector spending on digital, data and technology services is being allocated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The figures show that, in the last year alone, the UK has provided some £1.3bn for digital, data and technology services through its Digital Marketplace, with some £602m going directly to SMEs; further, thousands of SMEs are now under contract to the UK Government to provide public bodies with digital services, and help to manage the country’s transition towards a digital economy.
Since 2012, a total of £1.9bn in government funds has been spent on SMEs, of a total of more than £4bn. On average, this is roughly equivalent to SMEs receiving £1.35 of every £3 that the government has spent on digital services. In part, this is thanks to the Digital Marketplace service, which was designed to simplify the process by which companies could bid for public sector digital contracts.
How has the government responded to the success of SMEs in this area?
The figures were announced by UK Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden, who welcomed the success of SMEs in taking up the funding opportunities offered through the Digital Marketplace, and the wider economic benefits this could create.
He said: “The Digital Marketplace is enabling small businesses to work in partnership with the public sector to drive the UK’s digital transformation. Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and this government is committed to help them prosper. It’s great to see small business taking full advantage of the Digital Marketplace to help drive innovation in the public sector.”
Among the SMEs contributing to public sector bodies is i-movo, a company which has developed a an online voucher system used by the Department of Work and Pensions to support benefit claimants who are unable to access their payments through traditional banking services.