Olympics gloom for enterprises

Social enterprises will struggle to play any meaningful role in delivering services for the London Olympics, sector experts have warned.

At a debate last week on "procurement with principles", Daniel Silverstone, chief executive of the recycling social enterprise London Remade, said: "It is implicit within the Olympic Delivery Authority's procurement guidelines that social enterprises will be minor beneficiaries of contracts for the games.

"It appears that the principal opportunities for social enterprises will be as subcontractors throughout the supply chain. Given the size and timescale of the games, it is unlikely that enterprises will be able to tender to be lead partners for many of the contracts."

Sinead McBrearty, deputy chief executive of Social Enterprise London, agreed that the Olympic Delivery Authority's draft procurement policy was "not prohibitive", but said it was "not encouraging to social enterprises either".

She said that social enterprises should consider developing links with corporate contractors to bolster their chances of winning subsidiary contracts.

Meanwhile, Kath Dalmeny, deputy co-ordinator of food and farming enterprise Sustain, said third sector groups should form coalitions to lobby Olympics organisers for a sustainable, environmentally friendly games. She said: "The Olympic Delivery Authority is extremely media-sensitive, and we need to say to it: 'We can be your allies or we can be your critics.'"

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