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About Us



To achieve long-term changes in our society we work in collaboration with partners that share our vision, bring knowledge and experience of the issues we are working on, and can implement and deliver practical changes that make a difference. Come and join the conversation.

We are an innovation start-up, founded by two UK entrepreneurial academics, skilled management educators and who are experts in small business processes. Their goal is to challenge the status quo market failure of small firm capacity to win public sector tenders. The Centre has or Tendering has the credibility and market potential to be a high growth firm of great social importance due to its power to innovate SME practice, building capability to tender for public sector contracting, and support the public sector to disrupt its procurement processes to make them more accessible to small firms. Building on this change,The Centre for Tendering will enable regions to achieve local industrial strategy and prosperity objectives such as shaping local, sustainable and ethical supply chains, nurturing local entrepreneurs and creating ‘good work’ (Taylor, 2019).

 In short, we propose to innovate SMEs, supply chains and regions and to build scaleable business communities.

The Centre operates with a clear mission:

"To transform the capacity of small firms to win more public sector contracts through knowledge and innovation, and, in doing so, reduce a hidden cost to UK productivity of small firms' effort investing in unsuccessful tendering."

The reality 

The complexity of tendering for firms, and its dependence on learning to continually extend and renew capability, makes competition via one-off, improvised tendering costly and prone to failure. Research shows SMEs display a bigger competitivity gap compared to large firms, hence the government target of awarding 33% of the money it spends on third-party suppliers to SMEs by the end of 2022. Simultaneously, procurement activities inside councils, universities, the NHS and other public bodies, struggle to innovate established practices in order to display better sensitivity to attract small firms registering, competing and winning their contracts.

"At the end of the day, developing SMEs is not an end in itself, but a significant step in creating more jobs and building societies that are more inclusive" (OECD, 2018).

What if we teach you what we know?


Dr. Paula Turner

Dr Paula Turner is an experienced consultant and academic researcher  in SME tendering and procurement, with a PhD in small firms’ tendering capability. She coaches ambitious business leaders and their teams across many sectors to create their own successful tendering practices.

Paula places business process innovation at the heart of how firms learn to be more productive and become more successful at winning tenders. She has poured her esearch and practitioner knowledge of breakthrough success into the groundbreaking CLEVER TENDERING business programme, based on studying what successful firms do to innovate their business processes.


Professor Julia Rouse


Professor Rouse holds a chair in Entrepreneurship at Manchester Metropolitan University. As a researcher passionately committed to social change, Julia has developed a methodology called Engaged-Activist Scholarship and is actively involved in experimenting with ways to inform change, including within public sector tendering environments. 

With Dr Paula Turner, she is writing about capability to procure for public sector tenders in small firms, alongside writing and publishing about a critical realist conception of entrepreneurship with Professor John Kitching at Kingston University. As Co-founder and Director, Julia is active in the development and overall execution of the Centre for Tendering’s research strategy and for setting future directions to drive Centre research directions, impact and sustainability.