Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) requires a supplier to deliver Growth Hub Business Programmes Social Enterprise Consultancy Support for the eScalate ERDF funded project until 31 March 2022. This will include, for example, specialist social enterprise business development support and strategic consulting. The value is £400K including VAT as the maximum.
Questions submitted and OxLEP Business' responses:
1. Are you looking to appoint a local / regional supplier?
We want the best supplier for the contract and do not have a preference that they need to be local / regional.
2. Will you penalise suppliers that bid from outside of the region?
No we will not penalise suppliers from outside the region.
3. With reference to section A4.2, could you please confirm that there is no minimum level of economic and financial standing and/or a minimum financial threshold within the evaluation criteria for this RFQ and therefore, there is no need to self-certify?
A4.2 must be answered. Where OxLEP has not specified a minimum financial standing the third tick box (Not requested for this RFQ) should be selected.
4. With reference to section A4.3, in the event the organisation does not have an ultimate/parent company, what form of guarantee are you seeking? What are you endeavouring to guarantee and what detail would be required within this?
A4.3 will have limited relevance in this procurement. However, OxLEP may require a guarantee to demonstrate that an organisation is capable of cashflowing the activity, as costs for activity will not be paid in advance, for example where an organisation has no financial history. The detail of this will depend on the organisation issuing the guarantee. Please note, answering no to whether a tenderer can obtain a guarantee elsewhere will not prejudice the outcome of the procurement.
5. With reference to section 3.1, the final date for questions is given as Tuesday 10th June. 10th June is a Monday, so could you please clarify whether this should be Monday 10th or Tuesday 11th
I’m sorry this was a mistake our end. The final date for questions is Tuesday 11th June. A revised version of the specification has been uploaded to the website without this paragraph.
6.When is it envisaged that the support will start?
We envisage that the contract will commence the second or third week in July.
7.Do you have a specific definition of what is a social enterprise, or is Oxford LEP embracing a broad church approach to support all social sector organisations using enterprise?
We are using the Social enterprise UK definition of social enterprises as businesses which:
- Have a clear social and/or environmental mission set out in their governing documents
- Generate the majority of their income through trade
- Reinvest the majority of their profits
- Are autonomous of the state
- Are majority controlled in the interests of the social mission
- Are accountable and transparent
- Covers all businesses from self-declared social enterprise start-ups through charities seeking to become more enterprising to companies that aim at “profit with purpose”
8.What stage organisations do you envisage the contractor supporting? i.e. are we expected to support start-ups looking to establish themselves or better-established orgs looking to grow or both?
We are supporting scale ups SME’s with access to finance and social enterprise SME’s that could be start up or established.
9.Can the 100 supported social enterprises come from any stage or type of organisation, or will there be specific targets for different types of social enterprise?
They can come from any stage.
10.Would two attendees from the same organisation count as separate outputs?
11.Apart from the 100 supported organisations are there any other specific KPIs?
The project has the following deliverables for social enterprises:
- 100 enterprises receiving support
- 25 enterprises receiving grants
- 75 enterprises receiving non-financial support
- 18 new enterprises supported
- £211,000 Private investment matching public support to enterprises (grants)
- 15 supported enterprises increase employment
- 18 enterprises supported to introduce new to the firm products
- 25 enterprises receiving Information, Diagnostic and Brokerage support
12.Can you clarify the role of provider relating to the delivery of an online portal - is it design as well as content?
The successful contractor will support the development of an online interactive social enterprise platform providing advice, resources, product and service catalogues, case studies and programmes to help develop social enterprise BSB and business to consumer market in and beyond the region. The contractor will provide the content for the platform and will receive support from the Marketing and Comms experts to help with branding, proof reading and uploading content.
13.Can you clarify the relationship between eScalate Grants and the proposed consultancy support within this contract?
The successful contractor will be expected to promote and support the grant process.
14.What role will the provider have marketing and finding the social enterprises to be supported? Can we expect any enquiries to be generated through related Oxford Growth Hub initiatives?
OxLEP have a database of SME’s across the region, however we would expect the Social Enterprise contractor to develop an extensive network across the region. The detail is described in the tender.
15.What will be the payment terms for the contract, and will any payment be linked to outputs or outcomes?
The payment terms are normally 30 days but OxLEP will always try to pay quicker. If the bidder feels that payment on delivery of outputs and outcomes would be beneficial then they need to include this in their submission.
16.Are there any development costs relating to the online platform that you would expect to see in the pricing schedule?
17.Will you accept additional attachments which support the method statement?
18.Is there a word count for the method statement?
19.On page 14, there is a reference to number of businesses supported: 'The social enterprise subcontractor will support approx. 100 businesses for between three and twelve hours during the project.’ Could you confirm that this is over the three years and not per year?
Yes – it is over the 3 years
20.For the outputs given on page 16, are you able to give any indication as to the expected contribution to each of these by the social enterprise consultancy?
The deliverables for the problem are listed in question 11.
21.The RFQ states that the eScalate programme began in April 2019. Therefore, could you clarify that the maximum value of £400,000 inc. VAT still stands and is not on a pro rata basis?
Yes it is.
22.Is there any expectation to create new enterprises, and if so, will this be included in the monitoring of outputs?
The deliverables for the problem are listed in question 11.
23.Will the scoring mechanism for price be calculated on the day rate or total cost?
The scoring for price is based on total cost. The tender also requires a day rate to be provided so that we are able to assess value for money against the proposed methodology.
24.Do all costs need to be submitted in day rate format?
More detailed pricing through a cost schedule can be provided if the tenderer believes that it will help OxLEP to understand and assess their response better.
25.The level of "business support data capture, management and reporting” required and how the successful provider will have access to, or input into the "Oxfordshire client relationship management (CRM) system”?
The contractor will need to be able to capture the contact details and information relating to the SME company. They will have full access to the CRM system that OxLEP use. The contractor will be expected to capture data that evidences the deliverables listed in question 11.
26.What the "relevant reporting as and when required from the project manager, monitoring team progress against agreed targets” might look like
The contractor will need to report against the deliverables of the programme every three months. They will also need to agree their project plan and reporting against it with the OxLEP manager.
27.The level of data required for the template required to effectively capture "SME data including details of the advice provided”
The contractor will need to be able to capture the contact details and information relating to the SMEs company. They will have full access to the CRM system that OxLEP use. The contractor will be expected to capture data that evidences the deliverables listed in question 11.
28.How the provider can file scanned documents on OxLEPs S:Drive
The contractor will be able to upload scanned documents onto the CRM system.
29.The level and type of reports that need to be prepared and preserved pertaining to audits. What information is required to be traced through an audit trail?
The contractor will need to be able to capture client details and evidence of the deliverables listed in question 11. During an audit the Managing Authority can request any information relating to the programme including, but not limited to, grants, procurements and financial information. The tenderer must keep accurate records of the work as described in their methodology.