It is always hard for many small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) to win tenders, mainly due to lack of expertise or failure to understand the bidding technicalities.
However, this could soon be history following the launch of a platform where SMEs and other stakeholders will be trained on various aspects of bidding and procurement, especially in the public sector.
Patrick Kihumulo, one of the procurement experts behind the initiative, said East African Jobs and Tenders Market, a capacity building platform, seeks to equip SMEs with skills to enable them win tenders.
“Many local companies earn their income from contracts. However, most of the tenders are usually won by large companies, which have been around for years and have enough expertise. Therefore, we want to help SMEs to understand the dos and don’ts of the bidding process, among others, to enhance the chances of winning jobs,” he said.
Participants at the initial meeting were optimistic, saying the new initiative could ease their tendering woes “since most of us often misunderstand some of the procedures”.
Hilary Muramira, the managing director of Essex Limited, an agricultural engineering firm, said previously he didn’t understand the financial requirements, like having a bid security.
“Now I am confident that I will win more tenders after acquiring knowledge that is necessary to bid successfully,” he told The New Times. East African Jobs and Tenders Market will also launch a web portal, Piganwa.com, where they will post private and public tenders. It will have an email and short messaging alert service on new tenders, Kihumulo said.