Women-owned small business brings together Midwestern talent to solve global problems
Their experience shows you don’t need to move to the big city to have an impact on the wider world.
Katrina Grant, formerly of Eduteq Limited, and Lisa Laing, formerly of DiamondCluster International (now part of PwC), have brought their complementary talents and experience together to form Edusystems Consulting, Inc., an international development consulting firm. Launched in October 2017, the new firm connects experts in the field of education to projects in developing countries, building relationships and sharing best practices to address complex problems.
Ms Laing grew up in the international development world. Her parents, William and Barbara Turner, founded the original Edusystems, Inc. in 1970. That company focused on supplying equipment to educational projects around the world. Consulting (the supply of people with mission-critical expertise) played a secondary role. Ms Grant worked for the original Edusystems and later co-founded a similar company, Eduteq Limited, in the United Kingdom with her husband, Stewart Grant. Although the original Edusystems was sold and later shuttered, the need for assistance around the world remains strong.
The newly-launched Edusystems Consulting will embrace consulting as its primary focus. Ms Grant, Ms Laing, and Barbara Turner are the founding investors. All will serve on the board of directors, along with Ms Laing’s father, William Turner, and David Osgood, a member of the original Edusystems team. Together, these founders bring together more than 100 years of experience in the fields of consulting and international development.
“Sometimes you just know that you’re in the right place at the right time,” says founder Lisa Laing. “Katrina and I are both eager to return to the world of international development. The founders of the original Edusystems are willing to advise and invest in the new venture. We couldn’t be starting from a stronger foundation.”
International development is, at least in concept, the business of sharing best practices around the world. Projects focus on areas like education, energy, public health, agriculture, governance, and natural resource management. These projects are implemented at the national level and funded through international aid organizations.
Small businesses have an important role to play in the international development world. They have the unique ability to pull together people with exactly the right expertise to advise on a project, people who are active practitioners in their field of expertise rather than full-time consultants. Big ideas, rather than big companies, can be the catalyst for change.
Ms Grant summed up the feelings of the board in launching the new venture: “There is something to be said for meaningful work, and making a difference in the world. We connect people across the globe, giving them a way to share ideas and learn from each other. Our work makes the global community stronger.”
Edusystems Consulting, Inc. is an international development consulting firm. The company provides project management, training, and technical assistance for educational and related infrastructure projects around the world.