A SCOTS TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) firm that started from a garden shed in the middle of the 2008 recession has won its first Queen’s Award.
The TEFL Org won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for outstanding short term growth in overseas sales as it eyes further international expansion.
The company, co-founded by Jennifer MacKenize and Joe Hallwood, joins 226 national organisations which have been awarded for outstanding achievement in innovation, international trade, sustainable development or promoting opportunity through social mobility.
The International Trade award marks a culmination of year-on-year growth in international sales for The TEFL Org, which now employs more than 40 staff and trains 20,000 people internationally each year.
Andy Healy, Managing Director of The TEFL Org, said: “We have been pushing international sales for a while now, and it’s truly a delight to see the hard work of the team and the globally renowned reputation we’ve worked so hard to build come to fruition in such a fitting way.
“We pride ourselves on the simplicity, flexibility and quality of our courses which appeals to a varied global audience and hope that winning this award will open even more doors for us as we continue our expansion in the overseas market.”
Originally based in Inverness, the firm has seen international sales grow by 386% in the past three years, increasing the proportion of overseas sales from 16% to 49%.
The company now sells courses in 154 countries, with its market share in North America growing from 0.2% in 2017 to 22.5% in 2021 and Europe from 0.7% to 52.7% based on its share of web traffic.
Jennifer MacKenzie, Co-founder of The TEFL Org, said: “The Queen’s Award without doubt marks a huge landmark in our business’ development on the international stage.
“To be recognised for the work we are doing in the global market is very humbling and we hope this acts as a springboard to further our expansion and expertise around the world.”
Now in its 56th year, The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are one of the most respected business awards in the country, with winning firms able to use the esteemed Queen’s Award emblem for 5 years.
The TEFL Org will be presented with the award by one of the Queen’s representatives and the company will be invited to attend a royal reception later in the year.
The firm offers a range of in person and online TEFL courses, providing internationally recognised qualifications to more than 150,000 teachers who have gone on to find employment across the globe.
Ranging from 20 hours to 198 hours, the flexible courses allow EFL teachers to partake in learning from the comfort of their own home or while travelling.
In 2020 alone, the Inverness business has seen a rise of more than 250% in the sale of online courses and a significant increase in remote teaching opportunities.