Press Release: 19. January 2012

HP to support SMEs drive UK innovation and growth

UK’s leading tech company announces raft of initiatives to support SMEs as poll reports pockets of strong growth in SME sector

London, UK, Jan. 18, 2012 – HP today announces its robust plan of support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) in 2012 in order to fuel what it sees as the engine of the UK’s economic growth. In doing so, HP has become the first large systems integrator to announce a programme of initiatives to support SMEs specifically for the UK.

Responding to the UK government’s call to tap into SME innovation, HP’s UK Managing Director Nick Wilson has unveiled the new programme to support SME’s through 2012 and beyond.

This will include:

• Revamping HP’s procurement process to establish an approved suppliers list for SMEs and the appointment of an SME champion within HP

• Targeting an increase in the use of SMEs in HP’s supply chain, creating technology based solutions for public and private sector customers

• Launching the HP Business Answers Awards to inspire and reward growth among SMEs. Prizes include HP PC, print and server equipment as well as access to wider HP resources such as the Innovation Hot House

• Extending the existing Business Answers programmes that provide advice and support for SMEs such as HP Business Answers on LinkedIn, a group of over 6,000 SME members which was established one year ago and continues to grow in numbers from week to week

HP currently uses over 600 SMEs in its UK supply chain, representing nearly 10% of supplier spend. The company aims to increase this to over 15% by the end of 2013 with the addition of a further 150 SMEs.

HP has set up an online registration for SMEs to apply to become approved suppliers

HP will use this as a primary source when building solutions for its customers. Moreover, the company will run “bootcamp” events for these approved suppliers to network with HP and its customers, showcasing their innovative products and services and engaging in a dialogue with HP.

Confirming the rationale for focusing on the UK’s growth engine were the results of the HP Business Answers SME Index in which 1,000 respondents were asked about their outlook and business priorities for 2012. The research indicated that:

 • Only around a third (32%) of businesses are optimistic about the state of the economy in 2012

• However, over the next year, 11% of businesses expect to grow between 25-50% and 22% expect to grow between 10 – 25%

• Almost half (46%) of businesses regularly seek advice with more than half of those respondents likely to seek advice from a business advice group (51%)

• 2011 has been a good year: More than half (55)% of businesses have experienced growth over the last six months, at an average of 11% over the last 6 months

“We are stepping up our engagement with this dynamic sector as we believe there is even greater potential to help SMEs bring innovation to our customers and growth to the British economy,” commented vice president and managing director of HP UK Nick Wilson. “Alongside more than 600 SMEs currently in our supply chain, we work with more than 8000 SMEs as part of our wider ecosystem of channel partners, suppliers and customers.”

Baroness Wilcox, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills said:
The Government has introduced a number of significant reforms to the public procurement process to help more small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) win central government contracts. We have a clear aspiration that 25 per cent of central government contracts should be awarded to SMEs”.

“Small businesses are vital for driving growth in our economy, and the Government wants to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business”.

HP has recently become one of the first major technology companies to sign the government’s Prompt Payment Code and will announce further initiatives to support SMEs throughout 2012.

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