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Estonian social enterprise Merimetsa Support Centre has not been competitive concerning national tenders with its textile products (e.g. sheets for hospitals) as the requested quantities are too large for a small producer and do not consider the value of buying from an organisation who provides help for the disabled.

– Public sector as as one of the main clients for social enterprises? Does it mean less sustainability and more dependence?

– Not really, as private companies too participate in tenders. Concerning procurement, public sector is just a market like any other, and social enterprises should explore it.

– In addition, procurement should be an important topic for social enterprise sector advocates, as public sector can – and should – create favorable conditions for social enterprises when procuring. Why? Because it enables to create more positive change with taxpayers money.

Hereby we provide you with three excellent links that help to explore the possibilities of social value of procurement in general, and its relationship with social enterprise sector in particular.

1. “Public procurement for social progress: A Social Platform guide to the
EU Public Procurement Directive (by Social Platform) – an excellent tool for stakeholders in all the EU member countries.

2. “Social Value Act:  information and resources (by Cabinet Office of the UK Government) – as Social Value Act is one of the most innovative procurement-related pieces of legislation in the world, its principles and implementation examples (that are largely related to social social enterprise sector) are bound to inspire any country.

3. “Procuring for good: How the Social Value Act is being used by local authorities (by Social Enterprise UK) – a brand new (May 2016) study that should be of great interest also to anyone who feels that more municipalities should recognize the potential of social enterprises to create positive change on local level.