Public and private sector procurement spend is a subject of perennial concern, and one that has been exacerbated in an era of post-austerity economics. Wales is the lowest performing economy in the UK and research by University of South Wales (USW) academics has led to a range of interventions to improve the effectiveness of procurement and thereby directly contribute to the region’s economic well-being.
The work led to policy and practice changes within the Welsh Government (WG) that have resulted in a 100% increase in small to medium enterprise (SME) involvement in bidding for public sector contracts and a 400% improvement in their success in winning contracts.
Resulting Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and CIPS accredited training delivered by USW have helped transform procurement practice in Welsh public and private sectors, contributing significantly to greater economic sustainability for buyers and suppliers in the region.
Research by the South Wales Business School into the support for female entrepreneurship contributed to the development of government policy and business support in Wales and the UK.
Women are underrepresented in entrepreneurship and there are fewer women-owned businesses in Wales than the UK average (28% compared to 31%). While entrepreneurship has been promoted by Welsh Government in the past, previously there was no specific policy regarding women’s entrepreneurship. Building on a 20-year track record of research in this field, researchers from South Wales Business School were commissioned by the WG to investigate challenges and business support experienced by women entrepreneurs.
This research, led by Christine Atkinson, Head of Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub, directly contributed to the development and publication of two policies: Supporting Entrepreneurial Women in Wales: An Approach for Wales and Supporting Entrepreneurial Women in Wales: Two Year Action Plan, which were endorsed by the Welsh Government in 2019. Our research and expertise has also went on to direct benefit over 400 women entrepreneurs in Wales and supported the business support community.