Mimi Ng

  • Age: 41
  • Job title: Vice President at Credit Suisee
  • Location: United States, NY
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Professional qualification: Graduate degrees in taxation and international affairs
  • Brief career history: 12 years of progressive professional experience in international tax and transfer pricing.
  • Key areas of expertise: Transfer pricing, international taxation, strategy, marketing.

Where/how did you come across Grow Movement?

Online, I saw Chris Coghlan’s TEDx video

Why did you decide to join Grow Movement?

I was interested in Africa, and specifically entrepreneurship in Africa, because in addition to aid, I believe that Africa also needs solutions that harness people’s initiative and creativity. I also wanted to use my skills and experiences, and Grow seems like a great opportunity to combine the two while still being able to help, without going to Africa.

About your entrepreneur

  • Name: Teta Isibo
  • Business name: Inzuki Designs
  • Age: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Rwanda, Kigali
  • Family: Big family, six siblings, no kids.
  • What does the business do: Retails jewellery and home accessories in a shop in Kigali, Rwanda. Teta wants to build a brand and offer her merchandise online to overseas markets, especially the African diaspora in the USA
  • Employees: Two full-time and one part-time
  • Key customers: Locals, expat Rwandans living overseas, expats living in Rwanda.

What was your first phone call like?

It was a little awkward as all first phone calls can be. We didn’t have any issues with the phone connections, or with accents, etc. We set out an agenda of future calls and pretty much stuck to it.

What approach did you to take to identify the problems facing the business?

Teta and I discussed at length her aspirations and the challenges facing her business.

What business tools did you use?

SWOT, Porter 5-Forces, cash flow analysis.

How many sessions did you have?

We have had more than 12 by now. We have worked together so well and having enjoyed the process so much I decided that I wanted to stay working with Teta and support her.

How long were the sessions?

Usually an hour, sometimes 75 minutes, each.

What preparation did you do?

Online research on behalf of Teta, and also use a work plan to keep us on track.

How much email interaction did you have?

Not too much, many to send files back and forth.

What objectives did you work on?

Making sure that Teta has a good handle on her financial and operational management (e.g., supplier logistics, sales analysis, inventory management.)

How did you manage being able to consult when you didn’t know the industry or the country?

You can find a lot of information on the internet.

What cultural challenges did you face?

Not too much. Teta went to college in Britain and she is well acquainted with western culture.

What was the hardest thing about the project?

Resource constraints both in terms of the time Teta has available to work on building her brand, as well as availability of IT/finance/raw material resources in Rwanda.

What benefits (professional and personal)did you get out of the project?

I learnt a lot about how difficult it is to set up an online business when you are not living in a westernised, developed economy. Maybe this will help me professionally in the future.

What impact did you have?

  • Three new jobs including  sales assistants and an accountant
  • An increase in business skills knowledge in marketing, finance, operations and customer care
  • An increase in profits of 80%.

What would you say to another person who was thinking about becoming a consultant for Grow Movement?

Do it!

How would you describe your experience at Grow Movement in five words?

Rewarding, Learning, Serving, Inspiring, Fun!

  • Ashridge Business School
  • MCA
  • Cass Business School
  • Institute of Leadership and Management
  • Bull Dog Trust
  • Westminster Business School
  • UK Aid
  • Turkish Airlines