Help for the borough’s businesses

Mentors and workshop leaders
Mentors and workshop leaders for the Open for Business event
Published: Friday, 2 December 2016

Many businesses from across London and Essex were able to tap the expertise of business specialists at a free event designed to encourage them to bid for, and win, local government and public sector.


The event organised by Havering Council in association with BIZphit, East London Business Place and Enterprise Nation called “Open for business – are you ready to win” was held at Havering’s Town Hall on Thursday 24 November and attended by businesses from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds.

Emma Jones MBE, the recently appointed Small Business Crown Representative, gave the key note speech at the event and said:

“At a time when the government has a target to spend a third of its budget with small business, it's exactly the right time for local councils to be hosting events that connect buyers with sellers. The event in Havering was a great success - we've already heard about one company registering on a government framework as a result of meeting new contacts on the night - and I'm sure there'll be many more such success stories to follow.”

Graham Clarke from BIZphit who led two of the evening’s workshops said:

"Applying for Government contracts is a brilliant way for small firms to bring in promptly-paid, consistent and reliable business - and it's the kind of work that can often help businesses get to the next level.”

Hassan Iqbal, the Strategic Procurement Business Partner for OneSource, who act on behalf of three London boroughs including Havering, attended the event and said:

“Events like this are a very good opportunity for us to speak with suppliers directly and hopefully give some information on how public sector procurement works. It can seem a very difficult and complicated process. Many small businesses don’t have specialist experience in this area and we hope to work with them to bring them up so they can compete with bigger businesses on a level playing field.”

Councillor Jason Frost, Lead Cabinet Member for Business Engagement said:

“Events like these are so important for getting our local businesses ready to bid for work with Havering Council and other public sector bodies. However I’d encourage any local businesses that weren’t able to make this event to contact our council officers for advice on procurement opportunities.”