Consultants in global award bid

Nigel Tomlinson: Award hope
Nigel Tomlinson: Award hope
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Global business innovation consultancy Universal Projects is celebrating being shortlisted for an international award just over a year after it was launched.

The South Yorkshire company, whose founders include former Sheffield Chamber of Commerce chief executive Nigel Tomlinson, has been shortlisted for a World Chambers Award for its work with the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Tomlinson will be hoping that it is third time lucky when he tells judges at the finals in the Gulf state of Qatar’s capital, Doha, what the company has been doing in Cambodian, having narrowly missed out on victory twice with Sheffield Chamber.

Universal is involved in a series of sustainable development projects in Cambodia, funded by the World Bank, including helping their chamber to encourage international trade. However, it has been shortlisted in the social responsibility section of the awards for a programme to encourage the development of sustainable green businesses.

Universal helped the Cambodians to set up their first Green Business Club and has provided support, designed to enable Cambodian companies to secure the ISO 14001 international environmental standard.

The company also organised one of the largest trade missions from the Far East to the UK, bringing representatives of more than 50 Cambodian businesses to the country in September.

In addition to Cambodia, Universal Projects has been working in Vietnam, on a European Union funded trade development contract in Turkey and on projects involving organisations in Ireland, Serbia, Norway, Finland and Malta.

Secret agent James Bond had more than a hand in the choice of Universal Projects’ company name.

Its founders were puzzling over what to call the consultancy and, with a new Bond film having just been released, one of them suggested Universal Exports.

Everyone agreed that hijacking the fictional company name used by the British secret service in the Bond films probably wasn’t the best idea, so they settled on the next best thing and Universal Projects was born.