A Devizes management trainer has been nurturing the business leaders of tomorrow in the former Soviet state of Armenia.
Barrie Smale, who runs training company Inspired2Learn with his wife Clare, was funded by the Foreign Office through the British Embassy in Yerevan to partner with a local training company in delivering management and leadership programmes leading to highly sought-after and internationally-recognised qualifications.
Training is delivered in the nation's capital, Yerevan, with assessments completed in Devizes and qualifications awarded by a UK chartered institute.
A dozen young Armenian business leaders have already been certified by the CMI – the Chartered Management Institute – while 50 more are enrolled on the programme.
"CMI qualifications are seen as the gold standard in many countries," said Barrie. "Until recently the economy was driven by agriculture, but the banking, IT, creative, and other sectors are starting to flourish, with Western businesses taking an interest in the country and its young talent and many campaigns being implemented to launch much needed start-ups.
"Armenia is a fascinating country – the capital is a mix of Soviet concrete architecture, historic buildings – the country is one of the oldest Christian civilisations – and designer boutiques catering to a wealthy elite.
"The country has been haemorrhaging young talent to the point where more Armenians live outside the country than within it. But expats remain fiercely proud of their heritage, and inward investment is coming from the UK, the US, and European countries including Germany."
Inspired2Learn incorporated in 2002. The firm's trainers deliver in-house and distance learning programmes to employees looking to move into team leadership, management and coaching positions, or existing managers and coaches who want to cement their knowledge into a recognised qualification.
"Qualifications from either the CMI or the ILM – The Institute of Leadership & Management – are recognised nationally and internationally," said Barrie.
"The training courses produce more effective managers and coaches who are confident in their own skills, and the qualifications certainly open doors for those looking for promotion either within or outside their company."
While Inspired2Learn deals mainly with businesses and individuals in the UK, its distance learning programme attracts clients from across the globe.
Candidates are trained from supervisory or team leader level right through to senior or strategic management qualifications at post-graduate level.