Small & Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs)

Definition

In the UK, sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006 define a SME for the purpose of accounting requirements. According to this a small company is one that has a turnover of not more than £6.5 million, a balance sheet total of not more than £3.26 million and not more than 50 employees. A medium-sized company has a turnover of not more than £25.9 million, a balance sheet total of not more than £12.9 million and not more than 250 employees.

We use the EU definition (Recommendation 2003/361/EC adopted on 1st January 2005) which is similar to the UK definition except that they include a category called micro. The definitions are given below with the Euro values converted into Sterling at the rate applicable when this text was drafted (June 2010).

EU SME Definitions:

 
Balance
Category
Headcount
Turnover
Sh. Total
Medium < 250 £ 41 Million £ 35.2 Million
Small < 50 £ 8.2 Million £ 8.2 Million
Micro < 10 £ 1.7 Million £ 1.7 Million
Who we work with

We work with two SME agencies and use the Government low contract value portal Supply2Gov. These are, Supply London and ICAM. The benefit to UCL of working with agencies is that the agencies provide assistance to SME’s to enable them to bid for contracts.

The benefits these agencies bring to UCL is to provide guidance and training for potential suppliers particularly with regard to quality, sustainability and diversity issues.

Small companies in particular are strongly encouraged to use the services of one of these agencies. We recognise that responding to Public Sector procurement opportunities is very expensive, time consuming and can seem very intimidating. The agencies offer support and advice.

When we select a SME as a contractor we will, where appropriate, work with them to develop their skills both operational and managerial.