By Mourice Seretta
Scale, a digital platform where businesses find the perfect conditions to discover tender opportunities, get guidance on how to respond and digitally create winning tender responses, has officially launched to facilitate broader participation of SMEs in procurement.
Scale aims to solve a major problem for the over 1.6 million SMEs in Kenya who are either underserved or completely ignored by the existing procurement tools in the market. This revolutionary innovation already has over 3,300 businesses signed up and using the platform to manage their tendering.
“Tendering, by its nature, has traditionally demanded significant time and costly resources in the preparation and compilation of the paperwork, making it stressful, complex and expensive for small businesses. We are using technology to fully digitize the process and improve the capacity of these businesses to bid confidently and win more tenders,” said Marvin Tumbo, Co-founder and CEO of Scale.
According to a report by the World Bank’s Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) report on Policies that Promote SME Participation in Public Procurement, there are many information, finance, regulatory and capacity related barriers to entry and market failures that limit the ability of small and medium enterprises to participate in procurement processes.
SMEs who have bid for tenders in Kenya have attested to the findings within this report. Many confirmed that they have lost opportunities due to the manual and error-prone tendering process, limited information about upcoming bids, time constraints in preparing their proposals, not getting feedback after evaluation to know what went wrong in failed bids, lack of bid preparation skills and the complex nature of procurement procedures. This trend is even more pronounced among women, youth and persons with disability-owned businesses.
Scale is a fully digitized subscription-based solution that is accessible online from anywhere and at any time. The system has been designed to help SMEs minimize the bidding errors that come with the manual tendering process, shorten the time it takes to prepare tender responses by reducing the physical paperwork involved and cut down on the overall cost of finding business opportunities and bidding for them. Further, Scale comes with an expansive knowledge base that provides information and tips on how SMEs can continuously improve their business skills and tendering capacity as they utilize the platform. SMEs can finally Bid with Confidence.
“The tools and services available through Scale introduce efficiency and certainty into a tendering preparation process which, until now, has been a game of chance. By the touch of a button, Scale users will significantly enhance their capacity to apply for multiple opportunities, the accuracy of their bid submissions, and their chances of winning” Marvin added.
All entrepreneurs and businesses doing business with the National/County Governments, the Private Sector, Multinationals and NGOs in Kenya are now able to sign up for Scale by visiting www.scale.co.ke and access all services for free for an initial period of 30 days.