Published on 19/05/2022
Diverse Supply Chains ERDF Project
  • The Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement awards celebrate the best in all aspects of public procurement
  • Aston University’s Diverse Supply Chains ERDF project has been nominated in the Social Value Award category
  • The winners will be announced at an event at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on 25 May.

A project to promote inclusive procurement, led by Aston University, has been nominated for a Government Opportunities (GO) award.

The Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement awards celebrate the best in all aspects of public procurement.

The University’s Diverse Supply Chains ERDF programme has been nominated in the Social Value category.

The Social Value award recognises the crucial role that public procurement across the UK can play in delivering better social outcomes through the procurement function.

The programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is an initiative set up to promote inclusive procurement. It offers free workshops to local diverse small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support them in their understanding of what larger organisations/contractors expect when putting a bid together.

The workshops cover several different themes and topics such as Introduction to procurement, Achieving Health, Safety, Environmental and CDM Compliance, Effective product/service positioning and marketing, Raising aspirations and confidence, Promoting leadership skills & confidence and One-to-one coaching through surgery events to ensure the SME has a wider understanding of what is involved in the procurement process and to give them a better chance at succeeding.

Nick Theodorakopoulos, project lead of Diverse Supply Chains and professor of entrepreneurship development at Aston Business School, said:

“I am delighted that the diverse supply chain programme has been recognised in this way.

“We ensure that the organisations we work with on this programme understand the importance of social value and including this within their procurement process.

“We expected to support 75 businesses over the course of the programme, which commenced in November 2019 and will end in October 2022. From November 2019 to October 2021, the programme has supported 92 businesses through the workshop programme and awarded 15 grants worth £2500 (match funded).

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)74469 10063 or email:

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
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Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
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Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager

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