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Social enterprise and public sector voices on procurement

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Purpose ‐ Research on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship has sought to examine the role that can be played by selling to the public sector in the generation of social enterprises' traded income. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the perceived barriers to engaging in a procurement relationship from the point of view of social enterprise practitioners and public sector procurement professionals. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This paper stems from focus group work carried out during 2007 with social enterprise practitioners and public sector procurement professionals. Findings ‐ The analysis of these "voices" demonstrates the progress that has been made in various parts of the UK towards a procurement relationship between the public sector and the social enterprise sector that is more mutually beneficial. However, it also permits reflection on the barriers and challenges that still remain for social enterprises that wish to sell to the public sector. Originality/value ‐ This paper, therefore, highlights the key areas of support that are needed by both sides in order to create a more productive two-way relationship. In turn, this allows the paper to reflect on how future research into this topic can support action "on the ground".
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Keywords: Entrepreneurialism; Entrepreneurs; Procurement; Public sector organizations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 22, 2009

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