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London businesses urged to join new dating agency to compete for £6bn London 2012 contracts

A groundbreaking business ‘dating agency’ was launched today (Thursday) to help companies across London compete for thousands of business opportunities linked to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Developed by the London Development Agency (LDA) working closely with London Business Network and London 2012, CompeteFor will help businesses of all sizes bid for London 2012 opportunities by matching them with opportunities throughout the 2012 supply chain.

At a launch event for the London Business Network in the City this morning, sponsored by Lloyds TSB, the CompeteFor online procurement tool was demonstrated to an audience of 350 business leaders.

The London Business Network has been created by London First, the London Chamber of Commerce, CBI London and the LDA to support London’s business community and to ensure they make the most of opportunities from the 2012 Games through networking events, information, access to business support and promoting CompeteFor to all the capital’s businesses.

After registering with CompeteFor at www.london2012.com/business, businesses will be able to apply for contracts that are part of the estimated 75,000 future business opportunities – around £6bn of work expected to be allocated by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and London Organising Committee (LOCOG). CompeteFor will also match companies with Business Link London services, helping to boost the long-term competitiveness of London businesses.

So far, 243 out of 505 of ODA contracts have gone to London companies.

Mike MulveyChief Executive of London Business Network, said:

“London’s business community backed our 2012 bid as a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the capital. The London Business Network, with the CompeteFor online service, form part of the commitment by business to ensure that Londoners reap a share of the economic benefits which the Games will generate.  The Network will help businesses of all sizes access direct commercial opportunities from the Olympic authorities and their contractors (through CompeteFor) and the support and advice they need to compete effectively (through Business Link London).”

Manny LewisChief Executive of the LDA, said:

“CompeteFor will help open up the 2012 supply chain for London businesses making sure as many Londoners as possible have the opportunity to benefit from the Games. Developing and launching this website before the majority of contracts are advertised  shows how the LDA and the 2012 Games are already delivering a lasting legacy for the capital.

“It is essential that we let as many small and medium sizes businesses are aware of the opportunities. The London Business Network will drive competition and innovation by spreading awareness of the opportunities the 2012 Games bring. Businesses can also see the opportunities for themselves and learn about CompeteFor at our Get Set 2012 Roadshow that will visit every London borough between now and April.”

Paul DeightonChief Executive Officer of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said:

“London 2012 is already providing a unique opportunity for businesses across the capital to raise their profile and reputation on a global stage. The number of big sporting events coming to the UK, as a result of winning the right to host the 2012 Games could make this a ‘golden decade’ for major events in the UK and, therefore, for London’s businesses.

“The London 2012 Business Network and CompeteFor will help companies make the most of the opportunities ahead by ensuring they are aware of, can prepare for and compete for the business that staging the London 2012 Games is bringing.”

Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman John Armitt said:

“We want London 2012 to be a showcase for both sporting and business excellence. The ODA has already let contracts worth over £1 billion and most of these have been won by small and medium sized companies. The vast majority of business opportunities remain to be let and we want to help businesses make the most of these.

“The first ever ‘business dating agency’ for suppliers on a project of this scale, will give companies large and small a once in a lifetime opportunity to support the delivery of the London 2012 Games.”

How CompeteFor works

ODA and LOCOG will advertise their direct contract opportunities online through CompeteFor and direct London 2012 contractors appointed will be encouraged to advertise their supply chain opportunities through the system. For example the Olympic Stadium construction contractor ‘Team Stadium’ has opened the service with an advert for their site accommodation cleaning contract.

Companies at every level of the London 2012 supply chain will be encouraged to advertise their supplier opportunities through CompeteFor.

After registering basic company information any interested business can view the opportunities advertised. Companies can then complete a business profile, which involves answering a series of simple questions, to be able to compete for opportunities.

A company’s business profile is automatically tested against a small number of minimum standards in areas such as health and safety. If these requirements are not met the company is automatically referred to tailored, local business support provided by Business Link.

Once a company’s profile is successfully published on CompeteFor they are automatically matched to opportunities which suit their business and invited, by email, to apply for them by filling out a short, tailored application form. The buyer advertising the contract then selects a shortlist of companies and invites them to formally tender through the buyer’s own procurement system.

Details of the winning bidder(s) are published on CompeteFor and unsuccessful bidders receive feedback from the buyer. Throughout the process local business support agencies are on hand to help companies maximise their chances of success.

Ends

For public enquiries, please call 020 7593 9000

Notes to Editors

The event is hosted by the London Business Board, with financial support from the London Development Agency.  London Business Board consists the three leading business organisations in the capital: London First, London Chambers of Commerce and Industry and CBI London Region

CompeteFor is also a key component of the national London 2012 Business Network launched on January 16, 2008 in Manchester. The London 2012 Business Network also consists of two other core elements – information on London 2012 business opportunities and a national programme of business events run by London 2012

The London Development Agency works to improve quality of life for all Londoners and drive sustainable economic growth

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