Member of the Week - TEFL Org UK
TEFL Org UK, the largest and most accredited provider of teaching English as a foreign language courses, celebrates their 10th birthday this year and are reflecting on just how far they’ve come and where they’d like to go in the future.
The company began in a garden shed in Beauly in 2008, but from those humble beginnings, TEFL Org UK have grown steadily to become the UK’s largest provider of TEFL courses and an international voice within the industry.
From Dingwall and then to Inverness, TEFL have expanded expanded their market – first to Ireland, and now to the US and the rest of the world.
We spoke to Managing Director of TEFL Org UK: “I’m Jennifer MacKenzie and co-founded what was then TEFL Scotland with my partner Joe Hallwood back in 2008 in our garden shed. I’m originally from Maryburgh but have lived all over the UK and in France and Greece, too. My background is in TEFL and later on management within the civil service.
“My role during the development of TEFL Org UK has, at some time, encompassed everything that we do in the business, apart from writing code for courses or our IT platforms which I have not learnt to do! I am now MD and am focused on the strategic growth of the company and our current expansion into the USA where we launched in September last year and ran our first courses in January in three cities.”
Jennifer told Chamber why she would like TEFL to feature as member of the week: “We’re proud to be a Highland business with an international outlook, and our recent expansion into the US market is something we’re really excited about. Despite difficult economic circumstances across the country, we believe that it’s still possible to succeed and that the Highlands is a great place to do just that – so we want to share our story with others to inspire them to go on to do even bigger and better things.”
TEFL Org UK will hold their next Inverness course on the 14th & 15th of April, any chamber member interested in taking part can get 35%! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to recieve the code.
Jennifer would like to shout about the new TEFL Shop they are launching this month. Students can now buy resources to help compliment their courses or to use as teaching materials when they go out to the classroom. Jennifer said: “We think this will be a fantastic way for our students to prepare for their teaching and hope it’ll be of great use.
“We’ve recently launched in the US, and sales are going fantastically with us hitting and beating our ambitious targets. Success in the US is our overriding ambition with the aim to be as successful there as we are here and in Ireland. Alongside this we aim to target parts of Europe, as we see that as a growing market for TEFL that we’d be well-placed to capitalise on. On the whole, our goal is to continue to scale up internationally while consolidating our position as the leading TEFL course provider and continue to help thousands of students a year realise their dreams of teaching English abroad.
“We’ve recently been nominated for the Ecommerce Exporter of the Year award at the Scottish Export Awards. We’re really proud to have had a great sales year internationally in 2017, with our sales in Ireland and US markets helping to drive the growth of the company. We’re delighted that this is the second year running that we’ve been nominated for the award and are excited to attend the event later this month! Drew Hendry nominated us his APCRG Constituency Responsible Business Champion 2017 and Jennifer was invited down to the Houses of Parliament for an event with other businesses from around the UK recognised for their commitment to Social Responsibility.”
TEFL Org UK has taken advantage of the Chamber’s North American Business Club and the excellent help and support offered by the team there. Jennifer said: “Euan and his team were a great resource when we were at the beginning of our journey to selling in the USA and not knowing where to start at all. I can’t sing their praise highly enough!”
Jennifer shared her ‘top tip’ to making the most of membership: “It would be to take a look at all the resources offered and not just the networking events which may not be as much use to some as they are to others. Whether it’s using the North American Business Club or finding out more about what the Developing the Young Workforce team can offer to employers, there is a lot available.”