Norwich digital innovators Socium Marketplace hand buying power to small businesses

Richard Wetherall (head of supply), Josh Pond (supplier liaison), Kane Halsey (CEO and co-founder)

Richard Wetherall (head of supply), Josh Pond (supplier liaison), Kane Halsey (CEO and co-founder) Jonathan Martin (chief technical officer and co-founder) - Credit: Archant

A Norwich-based digital business hopes to boost the buying power of small firms with a new online trading platform.

Socium Marketplace has created a website which it claims can help small and medium-sized companies compete with big business by creating a level playing field when securing suppliers.

The company, which is based at the Norwich Research Park, is targeting a £989,000 turnover by October 2015 and aims to have more than 10,000 customers using the site within 12 months.

Kane Halsey, co-founder and chief executive, said: 'Many start-ups and SME buyers are forced to payer higher prices than their 'big business' competitors because they simply can't afford to place large orders. On the other side of the coin, smaller suppliers are forced to offer products and services at artificially reduced prices in order to secure orders, particularly when tendering for large volume contracts.

'When businesses are being squeezed from both directions it makes it hard to build and sustain a profitable business, especially in an increasingly competitive economic environment. Our goal is to challenge the business status-quo.

'We want to put mutual respect and fairness back into the buying and selling of business services whilst also removing some of the risk and hassle that comes with setting up new trading relationships.'