What we do

What we do

Grow Movement works with volunteer business consultants from around the world to transform the lives of people in Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi. By Skype, phone and email we empower African entrepreneurs with business skills, enabling them to run their organisations more effectively, increase profitability and create jobs in their communities. Our volunteers are global business professionals with skills in marketing, finance, strategy and business development who offer their 12 consultancy sessions for free. They remain in their own country enabling Grow Movement to operate at a very low cost. 

Why we do it

Micro, small and medium businesses represent the backbone of local economies in most developing countries. They are vehicles for accelerating economic growth, generating employment, foreign exchange and tax revenues. In Uganda alone, they contribute 75% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, these small enterprises face unique challenges which limit their full potential to contribute to their country’s economy. Most businesses work without proper planning, have poor accounting and financial records, limited customer care, no strategy for costing and pricing their services/ products and work with a short term outlook and vision.

By connecting volunteer consultants with entrepreneurs, we can accelerate the economic performance of these businesses by plugging these knowledge gaps. Over Skype, phone and email, solutions can be found by sharing the business expertise of our volunteer consultants with the local knowledge of our entrepreneurs. Grow Movement aims to balance out the life lottery that has prevented our  entrepreneurs from being able to access the right skills training to be able to run their businesses as effectively as possible. 

How we do it

We work with local partners in each operational country to identify micro, small and medium entrepreneurs that require additional business support. Each entrepreneur is interviewed face to face by a local Grow manager, who seeks to understand their business and any skills gaps. Once accepted onto the programme, the entrepreneur’s knowledge gap is matched with the key strengths of one of our volunteer consultants. Each volunteer consultant undergoes a similar process, where they are interviewed by the local Grow manager and their areas of expertise are identified.
Once matched, the Grow consultant and entrepreneur meet for 12 sessions over a 3 to 6 month period, connecting over Skype or phone. The pair identify key issues that could be limiting the entrepreneur’s business. The first 3 sessions are spent getting to know the business and the entrepreneur; together they identify a key objective that will improve the business. During the remaining 9 sessions, they ensure that this key objective is delivered. During this process, Grow managers support both the Grow consultant and the entrepreneur, ensuring the project stays on track. 6 months after the end of the project, Grow managers revisit the entrepreneur to review what impact Grow Movement has had on business skills, profitability and job creation.

How we do it…at ultra- low cost

Grow Movement operates on an ultra-low cost basis. We only employ local staff in country and do not send expat development professionals overseas. All of our Grow volunteer consultants work with their entrepreneurs over Skype, phone and email without having to leave their country. Our in-country teams travel by local transport, further encouraging local employment. The London-based Grow team operates from donated office space in Central London with pro bono work in the fields of accountancy, HR and legal services carried out by our Board of Trustees.

Where we work

Grow Movement works in English speaking countries classified as 'Least Developed' by the World Bank and that have affordable international calling rates from the UK, USA and Canada. Grow started in Uganda in 2009 and expanded to Malawi and Rwanda in 2012. Future expansion plans focus on other English speaking countries with low cost calls including  Zambia. 

Who we work with

Our Grow volunteer consultants work with micro (less than five employees), small (6 to 22) and medium sized (22 and above) companies in the service, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The majority of organisations that we work with have fewer than 5 employees.  In agriculture, we work with coffee, produce, poultry, pig and chicken farmers. Within the service sector, we work with a significant number of shops selling everything from electrical appliances, produce, grocery, clothing and tailors. We work with both men and women of all ages. Many of our entrepreneurs also work full time, have a large family and operate more than one business. Each entrepreneur must have access to a mobile phone, an email account and be committed to the hard work required during the 12 sessions.

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