DFID supplier event – our key learning points

DFID recently ran an introductory event for potential new commercial suppliers in Leeds. If you are interested in becoming a DFID supplier, here are our key learning points from the event.

1. DFID is open for business
DFID is responsible for distributing UK aid to some of the poorest communities across the world. It works with hundreds of organisations, both within the UK and internationally, to deliver these vital services to those who most need them. Annually, DFID procures around £1.5bn of services, delivered mainly across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Its key areas of spend include economic development, research & development, governance & security, education services and construction services relating to water, sanitation and hygiene.
DFID is fully committed to the government’s long-term government to increase its supply base amongst micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). To find out if you meet DFID’s definition of an SME, see here.

2. DFID supplier come in many forms and sizes
DFID suppliers include:
– Multilateral organisations such as GAVI or UNICEF;
– Third sector organisations such as household names like Save the Children or smaller organisations
– Private sector suppliers such as Aid Works and ECORYS
– Consultants

3. The DFID Supplier Portal is an essential hub of information
The DFID Supplier Portal is where suppliers register, bid and participate in contract opportunities. The portal is the central source of information for all DFID contract opportunities and acts as an online register for all suppliers and fund recipients doing business with DFID. There is a registration process to complete to access the portal.

4. Keep connected with @DFIDProcurement on twitter
This is a great account to follow for information on DFID supplier events, Early Market Engagement events, and others.
Top tip – if your twitter account is anything like ours it will be full of awesome tweets and sometimes things get missed, so make sure you favourite @DFIDProcurement so you never miss an event.

5. Last but not least, you don’t have to do it alone…
DFID wants to harness the valuable expertise of UK organisations, small and large, but understands that it can be difficult for many smaller organisations to become an official supplier. But you don’t have to do it alone – alternatives include:
– Consortia
– Partnering
– Joint ventures

Inspired by DFID’s event, Aid Works is running a free webinar, introducing businesses to the basics of the international aid sector. For more information, and to register, see here.