Businesses gravitate in force towards FindItIn network

A business network for Coventry and Warwickshire has celebrated a successful first year after reaching 2,750 members since it opened its virtual doors.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub joined the West Midlands Finditin network a year ago, to give companies access to high-profile supply chain opportunities, news, events and relevant support programmes in the area.

Since the launch, there have been 500 tender opportunities promoted on the www.finditincw.co.uk website worth over £20 billion, over 64,000 website visits and 8,000 website users.

FinditinCW brings together the CWLEP Growth Hub, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, the local authorities and district and borough councils.

During the past year, the collaboration has provided a one-stop shop for all kinds of business information, opportunities, news and events, while an exciting plan for new functionality and a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event programme is firmly in place for the future.

A major employment hub has also been launched for FinditinCW members to advertise their job vacancies and access support regarding job retention, upskilling and redundancy. The University of Warwick, Coventry University, Coventry City of Culture Trust, University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, HS2 and dozens of other organisations have promoted their contracts, tenders and requests for quotes, alongside the linked Birmingham 2022 Business Portal, which is used by the Organising Committee to advertise all current and upcoming Games tenders.

University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire has used the website to engage with local suppliers and is keen to support in the coming year.

Lucy Gilbert, Innovation Lead at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, said: “We wanted to see if there were any local companies that could support us with prototyping and app development so, as an organisation keen to further support the local economy, we posted the opportunities online at FinditinCW.

“Within two weeks of the opportunities going live on the website we had seven offers of prototype support from companies in Coventry and Warwickshire and a further five businesses came forward to support the app development.

“We are looking forward to following these up and working with local businesses in a partnership to develop our innovative projects.”

Craig Humphrey, the managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said FinditinCW has exceeded its original target.

“We were hoping in the first year to attract 2,000 businesses to register so to have exceeded that by 40 per cent is extremely encouraging,” he said. “It shows the value of the website and its increasing importance in becoming a one-stop shop for the place to go to find out about business opportunities in our area.

“One of the benefits of this website is that it is for SMEs as well as larger businesses and the breadth of contracts available means it is attracting a wide range of sectors which is one of our aims.”

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "FinditinCW has proved to be a great success in helping businesses tap into potential contract opportunities within the region and further afield. It is now also offering support with recruitment and employment, making it a fantastic resource for companies across the patch."

The FinditinCW team is working closely with the region’s principal contractors and large organisations to give its business members, further access to local contracts and opportunities.

Local businesses can register for free at www.finditincw.co.uk to receive notifications of opportunities and events relevant to their sector.

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