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Francis Toye, MD of Unilink on the Government’s SME Panel

Francis Toye, CEO and Founder of The Unilink Group, has been appointed to the Government’s SME Panel.

The panel consists of business experts from across the UK and is meeting for the first time on Tuesday 15th  November under plans to boost government spending with small and medium sized enterprises. 

The advisory panel, made up of 24 entrepreneurs and leading business figures boasting a wide range of experience, will work with the Government to ensure that by 2020 £1 of every £3 invested by Whitehall in goods and services goes to SMEs.

If met, the target would mean almost £3 billion of new business up for grabs each year, either directly or through the supply chain.

The Cabinet Office has estimated that 27% of government’s procurement spending or £12.1 billion reached small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2014-15, surpassing its target of 25%. An advisory panel supported this work and a number of its members are continuing to work government towards its aim to increase its spending with SMEs to 33% by 2020.  

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said:

 “The business experts will play a vital role to help us increase spending with SMEs, which are the lifeblood of the UK economy. Government is firmly on the side of entrepreneurs and we will do everything we can to make their lives easier. That’s why we have asked business experts to work with us towards our aim that £1 in every £3 of government procurement spending should go to SMEs by 2020.”

 John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, said:

 “Government is open for business and wants to work with more smaller businesses across the UK. These 24 business experts from across the UK will help government improve the procurement process so it is simpler, clearer and faster for SMEs.”

Francis Toye, CEO of The Unilink Group, said:

“Unilink is working as part of the NOMS Digital Team to deliver the Digital Prison program which will radically transform detention for prisoners, officers and Governors and help achieve improved rehabilitation.   Unilink is delighted to be on the Government’s SME advisory panel to help enable the Government to achieve the target of 33% Government business with SMEs by 2020 and simultaneously encourage SMEs to export more.”

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