HP says it is making it easier for UK SMEs to join its supply chain, by becoming the first major technology company to sign an SME business pledge.
HP has signed up to the Business in the Community ‘Access Pledge’, which HP says 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".
Developed by business-led charity Business in the Community (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.
BITC works locally, nationally and internationally with more than 850 members to help transform businesses and communities.
“HP has a long-term commitment to creating opportunities for smaller businesses by making our supply chain more accessible,” said Susan Bowen, chief of staff at HP UK and 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," said Bowen.
She said a new online platform recently launched to improve the registration process for SMEs expressing interest in joining HP’s supply chain is now receiving around 100 enquiries a month.
Also, 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.
Jane Pritchard, enterprise director at BITC, said: “Since the beginning of the recession nine out of ten unemployed people who have found work in the private sector have 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.”