Small- and medium-sized enterprises in public procurement in primary social and healthcare services

Martti Saarela, Eija-Riitta Niinikoski, Matti Muhos, Ville Isoherranen, Pekka Leviäkangas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) policies tend traditionally to focus on supply-side support instruments. However, public procurement provides a potential demand-side SME policy tool to enhance SMEs and maintain competition in the market. SMEs are often under-represented in public procurement compared to their overall economic weight. Existing literature provides limited information on the instruments of public service providers to create business opportunities for SMEs. The aim of this single case study is to describe the role of SMEs in the statutory public service provision of primary social and healthcare. The study also provides insight into the public service providers ability to facilitate SME access to public procurement and thereby to enhance the efficiency of the local market. We found that a service voucher system could be an additional option for public procurement, as it allows more flexibility in involving small businesses in the production of public services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)76-95
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Procurement Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • public procurement
    • SME
    • SME policy
    • entrepreneurship
    • social and healthcare
    • micro-companies
    • micro-enterprises
    • public business support
    • service voucher
    • sparsely populated area
    • Finland


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