RBC Brewin Dolphin Procurement Readiness

Learn about procurement processes, and how to secure public and private sector contracts

Applications have now closed

Are you an established and ambitious social enterprise looking to scale and secure bigger contracts?

This programme,  funded by RBC Brewin Dolphin, aims to demystify procurement processes and help social enterprises to understand how to bid for – and win – public and private sector contracts.

Key benefits:

  • Strengthen your organisation by becoming procurement ready with our free learning programme: eight days of learning (a blend of online and in-person sessions) between February 2023 and July 2023.
  • Receive a £2,000 grant 
  • Gain a network of peers, who will help you develop your plans and act as a sounding board
  • Grow your network of buyers and connect with potential future contractors
  • Learn from those who have done it before through expert speaker sessions and 1:1 mentoring

By the end of this programme, you will have the knowledge to pitch to businesses, bid for contracts and feel comfortable and confident with procurement processes.

Can I apply?

We want to support individuals who are committed to making a social or environmental impact, in a disadvantaged area or with people in need. You must already be an established social entrepreneur with a track-record of work. You may be performing successfully within a business to customer model and looking for opportunities to expand to a business-to-business model. Or you may already be using a business-to-business model but finding challenges and obstacles with securing contracts.

For examples of previous entrepreneurial approaches, we have supported, see the case studies on our website: the-sse.org/our-stories

If you can answer YES to all the following questions, then you can apply for the Procurement Readiness programme.

We encourage applications from across the UK and we actively encourage applications from people of all faiths, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances and backgrounds, as well as those from disabled communities. No educational qualifications are needed to join our programmes.

About you

  • Are you an ambitious individual who is leading a social enterprise and looking to expand and secure bigger contracts?
  • Your organisation is a social enterprise, with social purposes, a restriction on majority of assets, and an asset lock.
  • Your organisation is based in and works primarily in the UK.
  • Are you committed to meeting and sharing with others who have been through and are going through the same process?
  • Are you committed to attending the blended learning programme on at least eight days between February 2023 and July 2023?

What will I learn on the programme?

This programme will develop leaders with the emotional intelligence and capabilities to develop social enterprises that are procurement ready. You will build your leadership skills, understand how to develop, and adapt your product/service and grow as a self-directed learner. Our learning programmes are very different to traditional teaching. We’re not about essays and academia. We believe in learning from other people’s stories. You’ll hear from inspiring social entrepreneurs who speak frankly about the good, the bad and the ugly of running an organisation.

You’ll learn about:

  • Procurement processes and contexts.
  • Relationship and network building.
  • Opportunity mapping.
  • Developing and adapting your product/service.
  • Prototyping.
  • Pitching and tender development.
  • Fulfilling a contract.
  • Delivering on a contract and working towards contract renewal.

You’ll be in a group of around 10 people who are at a similar stage to you, coming from all across the country.

Click here for the application guided lines.

This playlist of videos shows the type of story you might hear.

This provides a real opportunity for social enterprises to increase their income, influence and impact by seeking a bigger slice of central government’s £292bn annual spend on goods and services. It could mean more influence and income opportunities with government, as well as creating and maintaining jobs for those furthest from the labour market.


Booking deadlines

We have a limited number of vacancies, we recommend starting your application as early as possible, so we can help you with any questions you have.

Booking deadline: Friday, 16th December by 1pm.

Book now

Key contact details

If you need any advice on your application, please contact Felicity Day on [email protected] .


If this document is formatted in a way that is not accessible to you, please email [email protected] or call us on 0207 089 9120 so we can share an accessible version.

If you would like to know more details, please download this document.

Read more in our blog post