International Trade award

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A WEST Sussex online training firm whose website is used by 15m people a year in 129 countries, has been awarded Britain’s highest business honour – a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its achievements in International Trade.

MindTools.com, whose UK base is in Pulborough offers more than 1,000 online leadership, management and career development resources to busy professionals and corporate clients around the world.

James Manktelow, founder and CEO of MindTools.com, and author of seven books on leadership and team management, said: “We are incredibly proud to be amongst today’s Queen’s Award winners.

“We’re in the business of helping other people achieve excellence in whatever they do – so to be honoured for our own business excellence is particularly satisfying.

“We have no doubt that our Queen’s Award will give the business a tremendous boost both here and overseas. We have fantastic team of people here at Mind Tools, and this is really great recognition for everyone’s hard work.”

Last year more than 80 per cent of the company’s sales came from overseas. The company has just 7 UK employees and 22 staff worldwide.

Customers of Mind Tools include 10,000 individual consumers as well as large corporate clients such as TomTom in the Netherlands, financial services company RBC Dexia in Luxembourg and Canada, and pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim in North America.

Mind Tools also works with government agencies in several countries including the UK, the US, Canada and Australia.

Rachel Thompson, director of the Mind Tools Club, added: “Our aim is to equip business people around the world with all the skills and training they need to make the most of their lives and careers.

“450,000 people are signed up to our weekly e-newsletter, and 250,000 have downloaded our mobile apps since we launched them last year. The business has grown largely through recommendation, and our Queen’s Award will really help cement our global reputation.

Announced this week, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are widely regarded as the UK’s top business accolade – the equivalent of a knighthood for companies.

Winners are entitled to use the coveted Queen’s Award Emblem in their marketing for 5 years as a marque of their success.

Each winning company is presented personally with a trophy by a representative of Her Majesty at a ceremony at its offices later in the year. Winners are also invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace.

Business and Enterprise Minister, Mark Prisk said: “The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the highest accolade a business can receive. The standard of this year’s winners highlights the great work taking place by businesses of all sizes to help boost the growth of the UK economy. I hope that it will inspire more entrepreneurs to start or grow their business as we look to make 2012 the year of enterprise.

“It is a fantastic achievement for all of the businesses that have received an award and I would like to congratulate them on making such a valuable contribution across all business sectors.”