LONDON, UK, August 29, 2013 -- HP today announced that it has strengthened its support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Ireland by signing up to the Business in The Community Access Pledge. This will enable SMEs to compete for HP business on a level playing field, with the confidence that the procurement process is fair, transparent and open.
Business-led charity Business in the Community (BITC) works locally, nationally and internationally with more than 850 members to transform businesses and communities. Developed by BITC together with procurement professionals, the Access Pledge aims to remove the barriers facing SMEs when they apply to do business with large enterprises such as HP.
“HP has a long-term commitment to creating opportunities for smaller businesses by making our supply chain more accessible,” says Susan Bowen, chief of staff, HP UK & Ireland. “We already work with hundreds of SMEs across our supply chain, and we aim to continue to nurture talent and potential to innovate so that the needs of the UK economy can be met. A new online platform recently launched to improve the registration process for SMEs expressing interest in joining HP’s supply chain is now receiving approximately 100 enquiries a month.”
HP is constantly developing new ways of working with SMEs to support growth in the UK economy:
• HP has signed up to the UK government’s Prompt Payment Code, an initiative designed to improve the supply chain cashflow for SMEs by encouraging prompt payment.
• Through the HP SMEngage initiative, launched in January 2012, HP works with SMEs to share skills and capabilities, and unlock the potential of technology to support growth.
• Working in conjunction with the UK Government’s Department for Business Innovation, and with the Skills MentorsMe initiative which gives SMEs access to advice from experienced business people, HP plans to train 120 business mentors by the end of 2013.
• The HP Smart Business Awards celebrate the achievements of SMEs and their contribution to UK economy. BITC is the sponsor of a dedicated community category at the HP Smart Business Awards 2013, and is represented on the judging panel made up of business experts.
“SMEs create local employment across the UK, and they are critical to creating sustainable communities,” says Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director, BITC. “Since the beginning of the recession, nine out of ten unemployed people who found work in the private sector found it in an SME. As the first major technology company to take the Access Pledge, HP is demonstrating that it recognises the benefits to its business and to society in general of supporting SMEs.”
HP’s premier EMEA client event, HP Discover, takes place Dec. 10-12 in Barcelona, Spain.