Last updated – 11 June 2018

Voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) deliver a wide range of public services across the country, and often make a significant contribution to public service provision. Government considers the benefits of using VCSEs to include specialist expertise and the willingness and flexibility to operate in difficult areas. However, VCSEs face a number of barriers to contracting with government. Some of these relate to their size and are similar to those experienced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the private sector. Further challenges are posed by the structure and purpose of VCSEs.

This dashboard highlights examples of local public bodies making it easier for VCSEs to bid for contracts. This is published alongside the NAO report Government’s spending with small and medium-sized enterprises and supplements the NAO’s existing guidance on commissioning with third sector organisations.

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