Picture by Michael Cooper
Pictured (L-R) Dr Tim Hutton, Wits Enterprise, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI and Max Williamson, Leading Edge Performance.
Leading Edge Performance, a Holywood-based specialist in coaching and training courses for companies seeking success in global markets, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to form a new business partnership in South Africa.
The local company and Wits Enterprise, part of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, are developing an innovative executive leadership programme utilising golf and other sporting concepts. The new programme will be delivered in South Africa and in Dubai for the first time later in the year.
The Holywood company has taken part in Invest NI trade missions to South Africa and to the United Arab Emirates, where it now has a base in Dubai.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest Northern Ireland Trade Director, welcoming the business partnership between Leading Edge Performance and Wits Enterprise, said: “South Africa has been pinpointed by us as market offering significant growth potential for our companies across a broad range of sectors.
“To assist Northern Ireland companies to explore and embrace the substantial opportunities in this strong and developing nation, we launched the Go South Africa Initiative in 2011 in addition to our trade mission programme, which has been used by Leading Edge Performance to pinpoint business opportunities there.
“We’ve been encouraged by the positive response from many companies and their participation in Going South Africa that offers them expert assistance there from an experienced marketing operation which helps with essential information, contacts and lead generation.
“Leading Edge Performance has worked closely with us to develop its knowledge of the market in South Africa and is now benefiting in terms of business leads and relationships that have been developed.”
Max Williamson, founder of Leading Edge Performance, commenting on the new leadership programme with Wits Enterprise, said: “Our developing partnership with the university is an immensely exciting development for us and is the result of our participation in Invest Northern Ireland trade missions to this important global marketplace.
“We are also excited by the opportunity to extend the project to the United Arab Emirates, where we already have a significant presence. Invest NI’s guidance and support is enabling us to grow our international sales in two of the most dynamic markets, the UAE and South Africa.
“Our programme involves coaching business clients in the development of individuals and teams to realise their full potential in both professional and personal excellence.
“A key feature of our approach is the use of sports such as golf to help improve the participants as both individuals and as team leaders and members. Sport is an excellent and enjoyable way to promote teamwork work in particular and thereby to improve individual and team performance.
“Our unique approach involves profiling, coaching, and testing to evaluate and ensure the coaching skills are being utilised in everyday performance,” added Mr Williamson.
Leading Edge Performance is formulating a partnership agreement to participate in promoting and delivering leadership and management development courses with Wits Enterprise for the two markets.
Wits Commercial Enterprise is a private company, wholly owned by the University of the Witwatersrand, focused on the marketing and commercialisation of the university's intellectual capital through short course management, research support, intellectual property management and technology transfer.