On a sunny evening in September, I was sat in Astana, Kazakstan to attend the Constantinus International Awards for Management Consulting. As Director of Business Development at Challenges Worldwide, I was there to collect our award for the best consulting project by a British firm where Challenges won the award after training two young Brits and two young Ghanaians to deliver a 3-month consulting project with Ghanaian company Booomers International Limited who make bikes from Bamboo. Winning the British competition nominated us for the global award for which we picked up silver!
What are the Constantinus International Awards?
Every year the Constantinus International Award invites consultants from all over the world to submit projects with exceptional customer value. Even as a very young award, the Constantinus International Award is already a much sought-after decoration for outstanding consulting performances. “The International Consulting Award continues its worldwide success story and is already an established quality seal for knowledge-based services all over the world”, says Sorin Caian, President of ICMCI. “The Constantinus International Award does not only display the best players of the IT and Consulting industry, it also shows the economic power and importance of the ICT industry.”
How did the award come about?
Since 2014, Challenges have trained over 700 young people from the UK and Africa in Professional Consulting and had them deliver consultancy support to over 400 African enterprises. When I started at Challenges 3.5 years ago I was excited to begin working in what for me what was new African countries, Ghana, Uganda & Zambia. I was looking forward to setting up our ICS programmes in these markets and getting to build a sustainable programme that aimed to upskill young people to have the skills and abilities required to grow companies, by providing them with internationally recognised training and a structured work placement in an SME that needs support. I was cautious over what could be achieved by using young people in a professional consulting context but excited that we were trying to build local capacity that would grow local opportunities for both young people and SMEs.
Over the past 3 years, I have been lucky enough to spend time with our teams of staff, volunteers and SMEs in each of our markets which now includes Rwanda. At every turn I have been proved wrong by the skills, drive and innovative ideas that our young people bring to the table, they are truly helping our SMEs grow and succeed!
It just goes to prove that when you provide passionate and enthusiastic young people with the correct training and support framework they can go on to achieve great things!
Thinking back to our first ICS programme in Summer 2014, where we took 19 young people from the UK to work with other young people and enterprises in Ghana and Uganda, I never thought I would be making a trip to Kazakhstan to represent Challenges at an International Management Consulting award ceremony, I am proud to receive this award for our work supporting Booomers to accelerate their growth and bring their environmentally friendly bicycle frames to the UK market. I am astounded by the achievements of the young people we have trained through our programme and their contribution to this project has been invaluable. It just goes to prove that when you provide passionate and enthusiastic young people with the correct training and support framework they can go on to achieve great things!
What next for Challenges?
The award comes as Challenges celebrate a milestone of delivering Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited training in Professional Consulting in 10 countries. This milestone has made Challenges the largest exporter CMI training and services from the United Kingdom and puts them at the forefront of supporting professional development to the future consultants and business professionals in international markets. The success has allowed Challenges to form a strategic partnership with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and begin delivering training in Management & Leadership to managers from both the UK and overseas. Matt Roberts from CMI said, “CMI are delighted to have formed a strategic partnership with Challenges. Our work together in recent years has grown considerably with both organisations committed to quality in all that we do and the unique impact that Challenges make not only for learners but most importantly the communities they work in across the globe is something we at CMI are so pleased to be able to support.”
Now the lines are drawn, we are UK champions and global runners-up for an impactful and creative management consulting project, next year… gold!
How can you get involved?
Challenges will begin delivering face to face training in Professional Consulting and Management & Leadership to Scottish organisations from January 2017, to find out more information, and to register your interest visit challengescatalyst.com