Government Contract Ready

Girls being coached in a classroom

Key actions to prepare for public procurement


Are you looking to secure public sector contracts to increase your income and impact? 

If your charity or social enterprise plans to add government procurement to your funding mix, this one day workshop is for you. Access expert guidance on the practical steps needed to get contract ready.

This course also provides access to exclusive SSE Online Community resources.

“It is early for us, but I would like to build procurement readiness into our organisational strategy and development.”

SSE student

Enquire today

What you’ll gain from this course

To help you get the essentials in place, we’ll cover:

  •       Business strategy and development
  •       Opportunity mapping
  •       Bid writing
  •       Communicating what you do, and its social value

Expert sessions give you a chance to ask commissioners what they need from your bid. Voluntary, community and social enterprises  (VCSEs) already successful in public procurement will share their learning and answer your questions.

 “This is a brilliant and exciting breakthrough programme for any charity or social enterprise that wants to break into public sector contracting.  

We dispel the myths, hear from commissioners and successful bidders and help you to maximise your chances of success in this growing and important space for social.”

Craig Dearden-Phillips, Facilitator

Craig is a highly regarded facilitator and leadership coach, with a high-energy and inclusive style. A successful social entrepreneur in his own right, he’s also an investor who specialises in early stage ventures operating in sectors of social need.


“The course helped us to have a greater understanding of what is required across all business disciplines. We’ve gone on to restructure our operations, finance, upskill our team and we have also rebranded. We now feel ready to take on larger contracts and scale.”

Emma Lower, Chief Executive, Lendology.

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at VCSEs that understand government contracting and wish to take the practical steps to compete for tenders. Your charity or social enterprise should be operating and registered in England and have a turnover between £100,000 and £10m. 

If you have little or no experience with public procurement, try our introductory webinar Government Contracts RevealedAlready bidding for government contracts and want to improve your success rate? Try Government Contract Wins.

We welcome applications from people of all faiths, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances and backgrounds. We encourage applications from people who are from racialised and minoritised communities¹, are disabled, including non-visible and learning disabilities, and d/Deaf, or work in low-income areas. Support with the application process is available.

We want to support social or environmental impact in all areas, and particularly welcome organisations addressing:

  • health and social care
  • employability
  • disability
  • homelessness
  • domestic violence
  • sexual abuse

If you’d like to ask about any of these courses get in touch with Sarah on 020 7089 9120 or send us a query.

No educational qualifications are needed to join this Webinar.

Eligible Organisations

We encourage you to apply if your organisation is a:

  • Registered charity, or
  • Social enterprise (or is unincorporated with aspirations to register as a social enterprise).

Social enterprises that are unincorporated are also welcome to apply, provided that they operate and register in England when they incorporate. By social enterprise, we mean a diverse range of organisations including (but not limited to) Community Interest Companies (CIC), Community Benefit Society (CBS), Registered Charity, Cooperatives, and in some cases a Limited company.

Your social enterprise must also meet the following criteria:

  • Have a social and/or environmental purpose
  • Earn (or aspire to earn) at least 50% of your income from trading
  • Reinvest or donate at least 50% of profits towards your social and/or environmental purpose

Support with the application process is available. Get in touch with Sarah to see if we can help: call 020 7089 9120 or send us a query.

Enquire today


If this content or process is not accessible to you, please call Sarah on 020 7089 9120 or send us a query so we can share an accessible version. 

VCSE Contract Readiness Programme Privacy Policy

The VCSE Contract Readiness Programme

This programme is a partnership led by SSE and funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. We’ve teamed up with Social Enterprise UK and Voice4Change England to enable charities and social enterprises – otherwise known as voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) – to  compete alongside other organisations for public sector contracts. We share the aim of diversifying the government supply chains and delivering greater social value for public spending.

The government spends approximately £290 billion on goods and services each year². Charities and social enterprises play a vital role in delivering public services – and are uniquely placed to create social value.

This programme provides a real opportunity for charities and social enterprises to increase their impact.

VCSE Contract Readiness Programme Privacy Policy

¹We know that language about identity is personal and these terms won’t feel right to everyone. We mean people who may identify as Black, Brown, bi- or multi-racial, being from a diaspora, having Asian/African/Caribbean/Latinx/Middle Eastern/Indigenous heritage, as a “person of colour”, Jewish, and/or from a white ethnic minority such as Gypsy, Roma, Traveller. We have consulted our community to shape this language.

²Tussell Trust Research for DCMS, UK Public Procurement through VCSEs 2016-2020, 2021.

Portrait of Craig Dearden-Phillips

Craig Dearden-Phillips

Craig is a highly regarded facilitator and leadership coach, with a high-energy and inclusive style. A successful social entrepreneur in his own right, he’s also an investor who specialises in early stage ventures operating in sectors of social need.

Read more