IMC wins twice at ACE Awards 2017

On 7 June 2017, IMC won the Association for Consultancy and Engineering awards for Best UK Business Performance - SME and Collaboration Champion of the Year.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Every year, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) celebrates outstanding companies, initiatives and individuals across the UK’s consultancy and engineering sector.

During the 2017 ACE Awards ceremony, which took place in London on Wednesday 7 June 2017, we have been announced as winners in two categories: Best UK Business Performance of the Year – Small and Medium Enterprise, and Collaboration Champion of the Year for the Rural Access Programme (RAP) – CONNECT programme.

‘This year we had extraordinary projects, companies and individual enter into the Consultancy and Engineering Awards 2017. This year’s winners are true exemplars of what makes our industry great, raising the bar for the rest of the industry.’

– Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of ACE

2016 was an exciting year for IMC: we recruited talented people, entered new territories with existing and new clients and won more and bigger projects.

(Learn more about IMC’s achievements in our Annual Report 2016)

One of these projects is RAP CONNECT, which is part of the UKAid-funded Rural Access Programme in Nepal.

RAP CONNECT aims to boost the economy in the remote Mid and Far West of the country by building partnerships between divergent interest groups including banks, multinationals, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and farmers.

A sharp focus is on the empowerment of players who are poorly represented on the entrepreneurial landscape, such as women and youth.

CONNECT helps subsistence farmers access credit cheaply and shift to commercial agriculture. 3,267 farmers have entered long-term agreements with CONNECT’s nine business partners, which range MSMEs to multinationals.

CONNECT has also selected 168 high-potential women, who have been trained and appointed by our partner Unilever Nepal Limited as rural sales agents (known as Hamri Didis). As a result, rural communities now have access to essential products and income-generating opportunities.


Meanwhile, we help our MSME partners to access finance more easily and to grow. We do this by linking them with national retailers and international importers, so the products they process are directly sent to big distributors, bypassing intermediary traders in the supply chain. As a consequence, products’ prices are going down and consumer demand is increasing.

Moreover, CONNECT helps women open bank accounts while also acknowledging them as managers of the land they farm, even if land ownership records are in the names of male family members.

To promote youth entrepreneurship, we are partnering with local colleges to establish satellite business incubation centres and the Future Entrepreneurs’ Clubs. These will serve as forums for peer-to-peer learning and business mentoring.

Winning these awards is an honour for IMC and great recognition of the impact that the projects that we have been implementing make on the lives of impoverished communities across the world.

Click here to read ACE press release. 

Cover photo: From left to right, IMC Deputy Managing Director and Africa & Caribbean Regional Director Nigel Penfold, independent international development consultant Smita Biswas, IMC Asia Associate Regional Director Katie Macleod, IMC Asia Regional Director, Suraj Rana, Penningtons Manches LLP Partner Chris Syder, IMC Managing Director, Gavin English, IMC Regional Director for Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East and Frameworks Patrick Gleeson, Chief Executive of ACE Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, and Chair of the ACE Board Mike Haigh.

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