Companies shown how to compete for olympics business

Northern Ireland companies will be able to bid for valuable supply chain contracts for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by means of the 2012 Business Network and the ‘CompeteFor’ website, launched today by Invest Northern Ireland.

The London 2012 Business Network, accessed at, has three component parts; essential information on upcoming opportunities and how to supply London 2012; business events listings; and the new CompeteFor service, a business ‘dating agency’ that will match companies to thousands of opportunities to supply London 2012 contractors.

Local companies can register their profiles on CompeteFor for consideration by buyers in the London 2012 supply chain. The contracts posted on the website will be from a wide range of business sectors, from construction to hospitality.

Around 120 companies were briefed about the new service and how to use it effectively at the launch event held in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast. Key speakers were Morag Stuart, Head of Procurement, Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA); Hannah Darvill of the London Development Agency (LDA), which is the organisation responsible for developing the site, and Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development.

Tracy Meharg, commenting on CompeteFor, said: “We are working closely with London 2012 to ensure that as many local companies as possible can access the huge business opportunities arising from the London 2012 Games. Encouragingly almost 130, mostly smaller companies, have already registered for business leads from the service.

“The service is open to all Northern Ireland businesses but is specifically designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to bid for contracts further down the 2012 supply chain.

“Invest NI is already helping local companies to take maximum advantage of what is a unique business opportunity, which they really cannot afford to ignore.

“Our services are designed to help companies to build the skills and capability that will enable them to compete effectively for London 2012 business and also for other global business,” she added.

Morag Stuart said: “We want London 2012 to be a showcase for both sporting and business excellence. The ODA has already let contracts worth over £1 billion, most of these have been won by small and medium sized companies and around half are based outside of London.

“A vast majority of business opportunities remain, and this year represents a huge opportunity for UK businesses.  We want to help businesses make the most of the opportunities ahead.

“The first ever ‘business dating agency’ for suppliers on a project of this scale, being launched today in Northern Ireland as part of the new London 2012 Business Network, will give companies large and small, a once in a lifetime opportunity to support the delivery of the London 2012 Games.”

As well as giving local companies a gateway to these opportunities, the CompeteFor service also provides access to a range of business support services.

Registration is free of charge.

CompeteFor has been developed by the LDA on behalf of ODA and is supported by Invest NI and other UK regional development agencies.