Agencia Consulting celebrates national award win with plans for further growth
NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS: Agencia has been named Small Business of the Year at the national Family Business Awards
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 26 Jul 2017
A Hessle firm has its sights set on further global expansion after completing a series of prestigious contracts worldwide.
Agencia Consulting Ltd was founded by Andrew Gibson, a clinical psychologist who has worked in the NHS.
Beginning as a healthcare consultancy, client demand saw the business expand into judicial projects.
Today, its clients include the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence, Home Office, Department for International Development and the EU.
In recent years, Agencia has completed a number of prestigious projects, including the reform and restructuring of Croatia’s courts system to enable the country to meet the required standards to join the EU; delivery of a project with the British Embassy and the Ministry of Health in Tunisia on a new system for coding medical documentation; implementing a three-year anti-corruption training strategy in Kosovo for judges, prosecutors, police and customs officers, and implementing the first probation service in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Now the company is gearing up for further growth after attracting securing work from even further afield.
Managing director Helen Gibson said: “We tend to go where the work takes us, rather than targeting a particular place, so if opportunities come through we will follow them up.
“We are working in North Africa and have increasing interest in the Middle East, which suggests that could be a growth area for us, so expansion into Dubai, and places like that, could be next on the agenda.
“We have enjoyed steady, year-on-growth, particularly over the past four years, and are now in the process of developing our three-strategy, which will take us up to 2020.
“This is focusing on our core markets, which are health and social care, judicial work, policing and security, while also looking to develop our service provision in substance misuse
“These are areas in which we have a proven track record, and things we know we can really make a difference in, rather than work for the sake of work.”
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Agencia is working with the State Prosecutor’s Office to increase its capability to tackle corruption, financial crime and money-laundering.
Agencia has also worked with RIPA International, a UK organisation specialising in public sector training and development, on the reform of Nigeria’s justice system and the country’s Supreme Court.
Closer to home, Agencia’s UK projects include Active Recovery, which has achieved above average recovery rates for drug-users in North Lincolnshire by combining clinical and psychosocial interventions, while a pioneering service, Rewire, is successfully developing solutions to the growing problem of addiction to painkiller drugs.
Helen began her career as an A-level psychology teacher. Following an MBA in Hull, she worked for the Cabinet Office and then PA Consulting Group.
She joined her father at Agencia eight years ago as a consultant, before progressing to joint managing director.
Almost two years ago, she became the sole managing director when her father became chairman. Helen’s sister, Joy Allen, is the head of HR and corporate services.
The company, which will mark its 20th anniversary in October, was this week named the Best Small Business in the UK at the National Family Business Awards, overcoming stiff competition from more traditional small business sectors including biscuit-making and DIY retail, to win the award at Wembley Stadium.
Judges said: “Agencia’s contribution back into society across the world, with their health and judicial work, is outstanding and speaks volumes about the culture and ethos of the family business, which encompasses all that makes family businesses both special and unique.”
Helen said: "We were delighted when we found out we were shortlisted in all three categories for the north-east. We felt like winners and we celebrated because the regional awards were presented during the first half of the ceremony.
“Some of the men had taken off their ties and some women had kicked off their shoes because it was such a long day.
“When the national awards came around and our name was announced we thought we had misheard. We didn’t believe it. Now I think wow, fantastic, well done us, because it’s so nice as a small business with some pretty challenging things going on.
"Sometimes you ask yourself if it’s worth it and whether you should have an easier life doing something else, but then something like this makes it really special.It’s so nice to be recognised and acknowledged.”