Londonderry software business launches in GB market

Derry-based Cúnamh ICT has launched its innovative software for social enterprises in Great Britain with help from Invest Northern Ireland.

Cúnamh ICT, based at Bishop Street, is currently following up new business leads for its innovative software from its participation at the Voice ’09 exhibition, the UK’s landmark event for social enterprises, and the inaugural ‘Outcomes Monitoring and IT event, both in London. The company has developed a range of software for community and voluntary organisations.

Invest NI has assisted the company to explore business opportunities outside Northern Ireland through its Growth Accelerator Programme (GAP).

Welcoming Cúnamh ICT’s success, Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Regional Office, said: “Our support is geared to help Cúnamh ICT achieve its vision to provide high quality, affordable database solutions for community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations.

“This is a young and ambitious company, which has developed new software for a growing market niche. It has a strong technology base and a commitment to grow business fast outside Northern Ireland.

“GAP offers flexible support to enable a company to exploit an opportunity it has identified to grow business, especially in external and export markets,” he added.

Peter MacCafferty, Cúnamh ICT Managing Director, said: One of the biggest areas of growth within the community and voluntary sector is the interest in social accounting and reporting on the social impact of programmes.

“Organisations are beginning to realise that they now have to account for their social impact and simultaneously funders are searching for tools that will make their jobs easier and standardise the process of reporting on required ‘soft’ outcomes.  We have developed Social Impact Tracker as a solution to this headache. It was exceptionally well-received at both events.

“The ‘Outcomes monitoring and IT’ conference, which is supported by the Charity Evaluation Services in London (UK), provided delegates with the opportunity to meet one-to-one with leading IT-system providers, including Cúnamh ICT, and find out more about how they might introduce such systems and software for the benefit of their respective community/voluntary organisations and charities.

“We’ve also co-hosted two events with the Social Economy Agency (NI) and the Community Relations Council (NI) to explain the importance of social impact measurement to their members and the types of tools available to do this.”

Commenting on Invest NI’s support, he added:  “Invest NI support allowed us to explore new markets, raise awareness of our products and has provided assistance to access very valuable support/advice from such agencies as NORIBIC. With business so busy, we are delighted that Invest NI has now approved further assistance towards the employment of two new workers.”

Partnering Cúnamh ICT on the delivery of products in Great Britain is the Tool Factory (London).

Tool Factory’s Bev Meldrum said: “We are very excited about the partnership with Cúnamh ICT. We are in contact with 800 community support organisations with, on average, 200 members each. We recognise that there exists enormous potential for Social Impact Tracker within Great Britain.”