The collapse of the USSR and violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia shook up the structure of early 1990s Wider Europe.
This caused an expansion in our work that was unprecedented in the region.
In 1991 we signed a lease on our first premises in Russia, moving into Ukraine and Albania the following year. From our offices in Russia and Turkey we began to work in Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The ongoing conflict in the former Yugoslavia meant it took longer to establish our operations there; we opened our first office in Bosnia – Herzegovina in 1995. Our work there was cautious at first, but we soon established operations across the independent states.
Initially we focused on providing training in skills necessary to rebuild infrastructure and develop the economy.
We received considerable resources from the British government’s Know-How Fund, which funded programmes to aid the transition to free market economies. Under this funding we were able to support ‘high flying’ young businesses in Russia, and appoint senior UK managers to provide advice and support to government departments across the former communist states.
At the same time, our activity in Israel was developing, after we recommenced teaching in 1987.