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'Dating Agency' launched to over 400 South East companies to encourage them to compete for London 2012 business opportunities

20 February 2008

Over 400 businesses from the South East attended the regional launch of the London 2012 Business Network on Wednesday 20th February 2008.

This new online service which includes a groundbreaking 'business dating agency' called CompeteFor aims to help encourage companies to compete for business opportunities which will help deliver the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Co-hosted by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and Business Link, the launch of the London 2012 Business Network and new CompeteFor service, took place at the Reading Madejski Stadium on 20th February. The event included a panel discussion featuring specialist speakers advising South East firms from a wide range of sectors - on how they can boost their performance and maximise their chance of gaining access to contract opportunities worth an estimated £6 billion.

Over 3,100 companies in the South East have registered to receive e-alerts about London 2012 procurement opportunities. Even in these early stages, when only a small proportion of contracts have been issued, 88 companies or organisations based in the South East have supplied the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) from hotels, hi-tech engineers, office suppliers, management consultancies and printers.

The event provided practical advice to businesses, explaining what to do and how companies in the South East can compete for London 2012 direct and supply chain contracts. There was also a demonstration on how to use the new electronic brokerage service 'CompeteFor' that is accessed via This 'business dating agency' will match companies to thousands of opportunities supplying London 2012 contractors.

James E Brathwaite, Chairman of SEEDA, said: "The 2012 Games will place the UK firmly on the world stage and this offers a great opportunity for all businesses in the South East from SMEs to large corporates. This will help boost the long-term competitiveness of companies in the region which is one of the key objectives of the Regional Economic Strategy for the South East."

CompeteFor, which is co-funded by SEEDA, will also link companies with local Business Link services which will help boost the long-term competitiveness of companies in the South East. Business Link is running a series of 'Fit to Supply' workshops in February and March, specifically to help businesses get ready to apply for 2012 opportunities. For more information go to

Mr Brathwaite added: "Businesses in the South East have already shown that they are hungry to win business for London 2012. The London 2012 Business Network will allow more South East companies to benefit from the Games. SEEDA and its regional partners are committed to helping businesses make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity."

Charles Allen, the keynote speaker and Chair of London 2012's Nations and Regions Group, said at the event: "London 2012 is already providing a unique opportunity for businesses across the South East to raise their profile and reputation on a global stage. The number of big sporting events coming to the UK, as a result of winning the right to host the 2012 Games could make this a 'golden decade' for major events in the UK and, therefore, for UK businesses.

The London 2012 Business Network and CompeteFor will help companies make the most of the opportunities ahead by ensuring that they are aware of,can prepare for and compete for, the business that staging the London 2012 Games is bringing."

The event was over subscribed with more than 700 people registering an interest. So if you were unable to attend the event and would like to find out more information on how your business can make the most of 2012 please contact your local Business Link Adviser.

For more information please contact our press office

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