The Business Bulletin - Issue 199 - 20th May 2013

The people make it special.....

I am writing this in my hotel room in Yerevan overlooking snow clad mountains, yet the temperature here is +16.

Yesterday we returned from Syunik to Yerevan for a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education.

Prior to meeting her we discussed the results of our time in Syunik with the Director who is committed to inclusive education.

We found the Deputy Minister challenging and incisive as she, quite rightly, wanted to be convinced that the move from special schools to inclusive ones would not be detrimental to the children. Because the change involves so many actors including ones from the Social Ministry, the Regional Government and the Ministry of Territorial Integration, it is complex and the Deputy Minister rightly put her finger on the risk areas where the plan will have to be water tight.

However UNICEF is happy with the outcome of our work in Syunik and will continue to support the development in many different ways including training of social workers.

My role now is to complete the transformation plan with its accompanying risk analysis when I get home. My colleague Kristine is typing up all of the decisions made in the region and translating them for me.

My project here is moving towards the end; I have one week left in June when I have to run a training workshop on the methodology so that the transformation can be rolled out in the whole country. Between now and then I have to prepare the methodology and, of course, the training materials.

We had good times as a team in Syunik. We worked together well with some tough discussions when we did not agree but we found our way through. We had some great dinners together.

The typical Armenian way is to start with bread, cheese, salad and fresh greens. These fresh greens appear at most meals; they are parsley, tarragon and spring onion.

The main course comes on platters and is shared by all, along with more greens. This time it was the wild asparagus season. This is a thin stalked variety but very tasty, its on sale beside the main roads along with spring onions and other fresh produce.

The whole idea of the meal is sharing, nobody has their own dinner, we all have the same.

On our last evening in Syunik we visited a mountain restaurant and had pork and lamb with asparagus and I was introduced to liquid yoghurt, which I did not expect to like. Actually it was delicious and made a great accompaniment to the dinner.

Sadly I have just one week left here. When the famous Brazilian writer Paul Coelho came to Armenia he said that the country made an enormous impact on him, not the countryside however beautiful it is, not the towns, as they are like towns everywhere but the people make it special. I will always remember having a long lunch in Sisian sitting opposite the Head of Education for the region (a fan of Riverdance) who offered me a toast and sang a beautiful song about the country.

I returned his toast and truth to tell we all had rather too much alcohol with the lunch but strangely it made the afternoon go very smoothly.

Peter Gay, Goris, May 2013 - You can email Peter here

Coffee Buying and Storage Guide
There are two factors to consider when it comes to buying coffee. Both of them are very important to the freshness, quality, and flavour of the coffee you make at home or in the workplace.

Those two factors are: where you buy your coffee, and whether you buy it in whole beans or pre-ground.

Coffee freshness equals coffee flavour and experience, so you want the freshest coffee possible. Coffee is perishable so it goes stale with time, beginning with when it was roasted, and expiring at the fastest rate after it has been ground.

Purchase freshly roasted coffee frequently and buy only what you will use in the next 1 or 2 weeks, and because exposure to air is your coffee's worst enemy, it is a good idea to divide your coffee supply into several smaller portions, keeping the larger, unused portion in an air-tight container

Storage is integral to maintaining your coffee's freshness and flavour. It is important to keep it away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light -- in that order -- in order to preserve its fresh-roast flavour as long as possible. 

Coffee beans are decorative and beautiful to look at but you will compromise the taste of your coffee if you store your beans in ornamental, glass canisters on your kitchen countertop.  Doing so will cause them to become stale and your coffee will quickly lose its fresh flavour.

It is important not to refrigerate or freeze your daily supply of coffee because contact with moisture will cause it to deteriorate. 

Instead, store coffee in air-tight glass or ceramic containers and keep it in a convenient, but dark and cool, location. Remember that a cabinet near the oven is often too warm, as is a cabinet on an outside wall of your kitchen if it receives heat from a strong afternoon or summer sun.

The commercial coffee containers that you purchased your coffee in are generally not appropriate for long-term storage. Appropriate coffee storage canisters with an airtight seal are a worthwhile investment.

To celebrate our 200th Edition of the Business Bulletin and in association with Coffee-Crema, we have a competition

Coffee-Crema will award a gift to first 10 readers who can answer this quiz question here:

What are the 2 main types of coffee bean?

Please select two choices from the following list:

A: Arabica
B: Robusta
C: Dundonald
D: Divis

Then email your choices to Coffee-Crema here.

Coffee-Crema offers free delivery on deliveries over £100 or 5% discount.

Gateways to Growth initiative

Gateways to Growth initiative is an exciting cross border initiative delivered in partnership by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and COMET Councils in Northern Ireland.

The programme will give over 150 businesses the opportunity to attend a Meet the Buyer Event in Belfast 26th June 2013 and sales and networking and business to business support workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch to Buyers such as Bombardier, Almac, Terex, Whale Water Systems, Valpar Industrial, Lagan Construction, Seagate Technology, ASDA, Graham Construction, Acheson & Glover, Andras House, Pramerica, Abbott Ireland, Glen Dimplex Ireland, Randox Teoranta, United Health Care Services, Zeus, G&S Stainless Services to name but a few.

Registration is now open - to receive an application form please visit our website - or contact Martina Crawford, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce on 028 90 244113.

Gateways to Growth has been awarded funding from the European Union's Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Businesses Benefit from Social Recruiting

Paul McGarrity takes a closer look at how the recruitment market is being rapidly changed by social recruiting via social networks including LinkedIn.

The growth and rapid evolution of the internet has acted as a major disrupter for many business markets. No matter what area of business you are in, many of your customers are likely to have adapted and changed how they look for and purchase goods and services. One of the sectors that is changing dramatically in recent years is the recruitment sector as recruiters, both large and small, in-house and agency, increasingly utilise social media to search for and hire staff.

Social Recruiting
Social recruiting falls into two broad categories. The first involves recruiters using social media networks to promote and gain visibility for jobs to reach potential job seekers and other influencers sharing job openings via their own social networks. The second involves actively searching for potential staff by researching social media sites such as Linkedin and contacting passive candidates for job opportunities.

According to Lumesse, a global talent management solutions company, social recruiting is already an established part of the staff hiring process. In a recent survey by Lumesse of over 300 senior HR managers, Linkedin stood out as the favoured social media site during the recruitment process with 83% of companies using the site.

Social media titans Facebook and Twitter play a lesser but still important role at 46% and 33% respectively. The survey also explored how social media is being used for recruitment with the top activities being ‘presenting a company profile’, ‘direct search for new employees’ and ‘posting jobs’.
For the HR manager or small business owner, social media presents a huge opportunity to recruit staff. Social media is now used by a very sizable portion of the UK population and is having a major impact on the way we network and engage with friends, family and business contacts. 

Nearly 200 million professionals across the globe use Linkedin and approximately 50% of the UK and Ireland population have an active Facebook profile. The commercial value of social media sites such as Linkedin and Facebook lies in the huge volume of rich data they have amassed on people over the past decade. Linkedin profiles for instance contain a significant volume of information on professionals including their industry, experience career position and the country and company they are working for.

Similarly, Facebook has built up a colossal database of information on hundreds of millions of people with the aim of allowing advertisers to serve ads against very niche groups of people. And just as advertisers can target groups of Facebook by age, marital status, gender and even interests, recruiters can advertise recruitment drives such as graduate opportunities.
Social Recruiting and Cost Cutting
It’s interesting to consider some of the reasons for why social recruiting has reached a tipping point. For many larger businesses, social recruiting is driven by financial necessity. Recruiting staff, especially in large numbers, has always been a costly process involving a reliance on print advertisements and the outsourcing of search and shortlisting actvitity to recruitment companies.

In the past year an increasing number of companies have invested in using social media recruitment tools such as LinkedIn’s Hiring Solutions. Small business can also avoid high recruitment costs by  sourcing a rich pool of potential employees via Linkedin’s search facility which easily allows you to search LinkedIn’s database of professionals.
Linkedin for Recruiters
Many people still view LinkedIn as site for online CVs, which for me completely underestimates the power and opportunities that it can bring to professionals and businesses. Although Linkedin is hugely under-utilised by business one area that is receiving more attention is Linkedin’s recruitment services.

It’s here that LinkedIn stand in a very strong position for future growth. In the past year Linkedin’s recruiting services have grown by 136% to $84.9 million – and now generate as much money as online recruitment powerhouse

Given the effectiveness and potential for HR departments and recruitment agencies to reduce costs and bring efficiency to the staff hiring process, it’s not hard to see why it’s become such a game-changer in the recruitment market.
Paul McGarrity is Director of Octave Online Communications, an internet marketing consultancy based in Belfast. The consultancy helps business and organisations to benefit from online marketing strategy and campaigns.

Following the announcement made today by Dr. Stephen Farry MLA, Minister for Employment and Learning, we are delighted to inform you that our Next Level Leadership programme is now 100% funded for eligible candidates!

Next Level Leadership comprises of three specific support options that can be accessed individually and are tailored to the needs of participants and the needs of their organisations:

L&M Essentials (leads to the Chartered Management Institute Award in Management) is a one day master-class covering core leadership and management knowledge, skills and behaviours and includes 15 hours guided learning & individual follow–up coaching:

here for more details.jpg

The Unleashing Potential Programme (Chartered Management Institute Certificate in Management) builds on the lessons learned in the Essentials Programmeand comprises of two x 1 day master classes covering core leadership and management capabilities together with the identification of potential improvement projects to implement within your organisation and 30 hours guided learning & individual follow–up coaching:- 

here for more details.jpg

The Maximizing Effectiveness Programme (Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Management) builds on the lessons learned in the Essentials Programme and Uleashing Potential Programme and comprises of three x 1 day master classes designed to maximize leadership and management capabilities together with practical implementation of improvement projects within your organisation and 135 hours guided learning & individual follow–up coaching:-

here for more details.jpg

Countdown on for Global India Week in Belfast
Belfast will celebrate and bolster its business and cultural links to India, when it hosts 'Global India Week' in the city this June.
Taking place from 22- 29 June, one of key events of this week will be a special business conference – the Horasis Global India Business Meeting.   
Around 300 business delegates from India and Asia have been invited to this prestigious conference as well as local businesses. Among the key speakers are Anand Sharma, the Minister of Commerce and Industry for the Government of India.
The conference will take place in the Europa Hotel but the international delegates will visit other venues in the city during their visit including the City Hall and Titanic Belfast.
Belfast City Council is co-hosting the Global India Business Meeting from 23-25 June alongside Horasis and conference partner Invest NI.
The council is also organising Global India Week from 22-29 June with a wider programme of events planned to highlight all aspects of Indian culture in Belfast from Indian dance, film and food.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Gavin Robinson said: "There are many major events to look forward to in Belfast this year but Global India Week is without doubt, among the highlights. This will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase Belfast and put it in the global map as well as bolstering our international trade and investment opportunities."
For more information on Global India Week, go to or contact Belfast City Council on 028 9027 0666.

BorderBizcamp, Saturday 8th June 9.15am-4.30pm,
Monaghan M:tEK Building, Armagh Road, Monaghan.

If you shared the day with us last year, come and join us again. If you missed the day last year, definitely put this date in your diary 

Border Bizcamp is a very special business event - it's all about businesses supporting businesses in Monaghan and the border region. Its all about learning, business links.....and lovely food!! It's the kind of event which last year raised the business energy of all who attended and was a really positive reflection on business people who want to succeed in a can-do, supportive environment.

During the day-long event you will have a choice of speakers to listen to and learn from. Some will be there in person, and some will be utilising the advantages of modern technology and joining us by Skype from the USA. The organising team have been hard at work searching out speakers who are at the top of their game, who will inspire and who will share 30 minutes of their expertise and excellence in business, for the benefit of others in business or those thinking of starting in business.

This year we are proud to announce the first of our confirmed speakers:

Gary Vaynerchuk - co-founder and CEO of a social media brand consulting agency, video blogger, co-owner and director of operations of a wine retail store, and an author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce joining us by Skype link. 

Neven Maguire - cook, author, TV presenter and chef, teacher, and food innovator. 

Una Fox - VP at Walt Disney Company Corporate Technology group with a specific focus on online marketing technologies, Brand Management and Customer Business Intelligence, organiser of LA Coder Dojo, passionate about getting more girls into technology.

George Mordaunt - MD of the Mordaunt Group (retail motor dealership), recession survivor, author and business support . 

The day is shaping up really well, so to be sure of having an opportunity to hear these powerful talks book early.

You can attend just to listen and learn from the expertise, experience and energy of a broad range of speakers contributing on a range of business themes.....or you can volunteer to speak yourself! Check out for the guidelines.

Oh and another this - it's FREE to attend.

If you would like to offer some sponsorship to this great event get in touch at

This event will be of interest to many so book early to guarantee a place. You can book your place early here. Looking forward to seeing you there.

BorderBizcamp 2013


For Northern Ireland specific contracts, there are a number of sources of information specifically for contracts within Northern Ireland. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) handles contracts for a number of government departments. You can find a list of current tender opportunities on the CPD website. Again, there is no email alert facility that we can find which makes the content difficult to adapt to the Bulletin format.

Please see for the current list of Northern Ireland opportunities.

GB-Colchester: T467 Wireless Emergency Evacuation Voice Communication System
GB-Harrogate: Graduation Trophies
LC144 Cornwall: Indian Queens, Tolvaddon and Cardew Way Sites Term Landscape Maintenance Contract 2013 – 2015
Danesfield C of E School, Williton - replacement of RBM roof coverings and windows
DRINC Dissemination Event – 27th and 28th November 2013
ERDF Finance Provider Brief 2013-Fin-01
Court Fields Community School, Mantle Street, Wellington - Replacement Windows
Westonzoyland Primary School, Westonzoyland, Bridgwater - replacement of RBM roof coverings
Rapid Industry Assessment of CPD provision in dentistry in the UK
Hospital Marketing Tool
EAP.NW.003 Merseyside and Greater Manchester Sites Landscape Maintenance and Cleansing Contract 2013 - 2015
Clinical Reporting Tool
Electrical Services Framework contract
GB-Southend: Waste Transfer Station
Hospital Patient Surveys
Parkfield Primary School, Taunton - replacement of RBM roof coverings
Review and Modernising Working Practices in Operational Deployment
Venture Quays Apron Upgrade
UK-London: Computer-related professional services
UK-Ballymena: Fleet management, repair and maintenance services
UK-Cardiff: Geological, geophysical and other scientific prospecting services
Hospital Marketing Tool
Clinical Reporting Tool
UK-Derby: Software support services
UK-London: Project management consultancy services
UK-Darlington: Health services
UK-Dorchester: Computer back-up services
UK-Newcastle upon Tyne: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
UK-Chesterfield: Medical information systems
UK-Barnstaple: Medical equipments, pharmaceuticals and personal care products
UK-Belfast: Computer-related services
NHS Wakefield CCG Intranet/Internet
Provision of Data Center and Associated Services
UK-Glasgow: Training services
UK-Gourock: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
UK-London: Electricity, heating, solar and nuclear energy
UK-Liverpool: Information systems or technology strategic review and planning services
Incident Command Simulation Software
UK-Morpeth: Street-lighting equipment
UK-Chester: Asbestos-removal work
UK-London: Tiling work
CY-Nicosia: Electricity poles
UK-London: Construction work for buildings relating to railway transport
UK-London: Grouting work
UK-Ystrad Mynach: Gas appliance maintenance services
UK-Warrington: Floor coverings
UK-Nottingham: Construction work
NO-Arendal: Construction work
UK-Colchester: Installation of fitted kitchens
NO-Bjørkelangen: Petroleum products, fuel, electricity and other sources of energy
UK-London: Installation of suspended ceilings
UK-London: Repainting work
IRL-Farnanes: Lounge and reception-area furniture
UK-London: Drainage works
UK-Brentwood: Repair and maintenance services of building installations
UK-Manchester: Safety installations
Danesfield C of E School, Williton - replacement of RBM roof coverings and windows
Court Fields Community School, Mantle Street, Wellington - Replacement Windows

75156 - - Provision of IDA Training Programme Assessments and Validations
Publication date:  16-05-2013
Response deadline:  26-06-2013 12:00   GMT
Procedure: Open Procedure (OJEU)
Description: Provision of IDA Training Programme Assessments and Validations
Buyer: IDA Ireland

75163 - MK/CILC/05/13 - ITT for Consumer Insight on Lunchtime Consumption
Publication date:  16-05-2013
Response deadline:  30-05-2013 17:00   GMT
Procedure: Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: Invitation To Tender for the provision of Consumer Insight on Lunchtime Consumption
Buyer: Bord Bia (Irish Food Board)

75096 - PIN Video Conferencing Service - PIN: Video Conferencing Service
Publication date:  14-05-2013
Response deadline:  05-07-2013 17:30   GMT
Procedure: HEAnet PIN
Description: This is a Prior Information Notice of HEAnet's intention to procure in 2013. HEAnet intends to issue tenders to procure a video conferencing service spanning booking, helpdesk, support and administration. THIS IS NOT A TENDER COMPETITION NO TENDER DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE AT THIS STAGE. HEAnet will issue calls for competition in due course.
Buyer: HEAnet Limited

75075 - WLD Rural Development Website - To design and create a website for Wexford Local Development to support the strategic development of rural areas in County Wexford.
Publication date:  14-05-2013
Response deadline:  29-05-2013 12:00   GMT
Procedure: Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: Written tenders are invited from organisations / persons with expertise in website design and content management systems who could design and build a bespoke ‘Rural Development’ website which would form an integral part of the WLD website. This website would serve to capture and co-ordinate all of the innovative rural development initiatives that have been developed in County Wexford over the last 20 years.
Buyer: Wexford Local Development

75085 - VT/2013/02 - On-line Accommodation Reservation Service
Publication date:  14-05-2013
Response deadline:  28-05-2013 12:00   GMT
Procedure: Competitive Dialogue (NON OJEU)
Description: Fáilte Ireland operates a network of Visitor Information services consisting of 30 Tourist Offices. In addition 40 Community Tourist Offices and 46 Visitor Information Points are licensed to provide a visitor information service throughout the Republic of Ireland. We are seeking an on- line accommodation reservations system that will facilitate bookings to all Fáilte Ireland registered /approved categories of accommodation. The system offered should be cost neutral to Fáilte Ireland.
Buyer: Fáilte Ireland-National Tourism Development Authority

75016 - MK/PRSUK/05/13 - ITT for PR Sevices in the UK Market
Publication date:  10-05-2013
Response deadline:  10-06-2013 17:00   GMT
Procedure: Open Procedure (OJEU) post PIN
Description: Invitation to tender for the provision of Public Relations Services in the UK market.
Buyer: Bord Bia (Irish Food Board)

Publication date:  10-05-2013
Response deadline:  11-06-2013 12:00   GMT
Procedure: Open Procedure (OJEU) post PIN
Buyer: Health Service Executive (HSE)

75010 - P2T/13/22 - Management and administration of the South West PEACE III Programme
Publication date:  11-05-2013
Response deadline:  29-05-2013 16:00   GMT
Procedure: Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: To recruit a competent organisation to assist Magherafelt District Council (The Lead Authority) manage and administer the implementation of the South West Cluster PEACE III Phase II Action Plan across the cluster area of Magherafelt, Cookstown, Dungannon and Fermanagh District Council Areas.
Buyer: Magherafelt District Council

Belfast City Council Tenders are available at

First Edition Publications, The Technology Centre,
Townsend Enterprise Park, Townsend St., BELFAST BT13 2ES 

T 028 90435778 | M 07970430155 | | | SKYPE id: gi4cso

The contents of this email and any attachments are the property of the organisation named above and are intended for the confidential use of the named recipients only. If you are not the intended recipient please notify us immediately. Any disclosure, copying or distribution is prohibited. We accept no responsibility or liability in respect of the email other than to the addressee. Any files attached to this email will have been checked with virus detection software before transmission. However, you should carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. We accept no liability for any loss or damage, which may be caused by software viruses.