HELM Corporation, a successful management consultancy company based in Moira, has won a £1.8 million contract in the Czech Republic to help in the development of the country’s small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
HELM secured the contract with CzechInvest, the country’s leading investment and business development agency, by following up contacts made on an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to the Czech Republic.
Working in partnership with GFA Management and the UK Institute of Business Advisers over the next 20 months, HELM will support CzechInvest in the development and accreditation of a network of 150 SME advisers across the Czech Republic and will also contribute to the ‘Czech Benchmarking Index’, which will help companies there to assess their competitiveness against international best practice.
Sean Sweeney, HELM chief executive, said: “Our extensive consultancy experience in the UK and Ireland and understanding of comparable enterprise development models offered an attractive proposition to the Czech Government. HELM staff will bring much desired knowledge and skills to Czech businesses.
“Our experienced advisers will be reviewing the business capabilities of over 250 local companies in the Czech Republic. With the recent accession to the European Union, further economic growth is being sought by the Czech Government, working to assist local SMEs, to increase their management and export capacity.”
Damian Duffy, HELM’s European director, added: “We have carried out some short-term consultancy work in the Czech Republic before, working with CzechInvest to establish systems for the management of European Structural Funds, but this latest contract will see us establish a firm base for further growth there and other parts of Central and Eastern Europe.
“We hope that some of the networks and business relationships established in the life of this contract will be of interest to Northern Ireland companies and enterprise agencies,” he added.
Welcoming HELM’s latest success, Alan Hingston, Invest NI Trade director, said: “This is a very important contract for HELM and a substantial boost for our drive to promote business between Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic and other new EU member states.
“HELM used the Invest NI trade mission as a platform to make initial contacts and then quickly followed these up with detailed business propositions. HELM’s speed of response and the quality of its presentation clearly impressed this prestigious and influential client.”
The SME contract is funded by the EU Commission PHARE Programme