Alleviate poverty by engaging remote volunteer consultants
to transfer business skills to Africa’s entrepreneurs
What we do
Grow Movement alleviates poverty by helping entrepreneurs build their businesses.
By skype, phone, and email, our volunteers mentor entrepreneurs and transfer business skills. This enables the entrepreneurs to run their businesses more effectively, increasing profitability and creating jobs in their communities.
Our volunteers are global business professionals with skills in marketing, finance, strategy and business development who offer 12 consultancy sessions for free.
Why we do it
Micro, small and medium businesses represent the backbone of local economies in many developing countries. These businesses are vehicles for accelerating economic growth, generating employment, foreign exchange and tax revenues.
These small enterprises face unique challenges which can limit their full potential. Many businesses work with limited strategy and planning, minimal accounting and financial records, limited customer care, and a short term outlook and vision.
By connecting volunteer consultants with entrepreneurs, we can accelerate the economic performance of these businesses. Blending the business expertise of our volunteer consultants with the local knowledge of our entrepreneurs enables these businesses to grow and develop.
How we do it
We work with local partners in each operational country to identify entrepreneurs and small businesses that may be suitable for our program. Each entrepreneur is interviewed face to face by a local Grow Movement Representative before being accepted onto the program. Each volunteer consultant is also interviewed to identify their skills and strength in order to be matched to the right entrepreneur.
Once matched, the Volunteer Consultant and Entrepreneur hold 12 consulting sessions to identify and start to resolve the key issues affecting the business. Grow Movement meets with the Entrepreneur 6 months after the completion of the sessions in order to evaluate the benefit of the programme on the Entrepreneur.
How we do it…
at ultra-low cost
Grow Movement operates on an ultra-low cost basis. We 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.
Where we work
Grow Movement works in countries classified as ‘Least Developed’ by the World Bank. Grow started in
Uganda and expanded to Malawi and Rwanda in 2012. Grow also takes on projects throughout
Africa in partnership with other organisations and is considering future expansion.
Who we work with
Our Grow volunteer consultants work with micro, small and medium sized 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.
Chris Coghlan – What micro entrepreneurs taught me
Grow Movement was set up in 2009 by Chris Coghlan. He felt compelled to assist those living in the developing world after studying the Rwandan genocide at university and witnessing extreme levels of human suffering when volunteering in Mozambique in 1999, the DR Congo in 2006 and Rwanda in 2008. Chris felt frustrated by the ineffectiveness of current methods to tackle poverty in the developing world.
Chris believed that a new approach was possible and used his experience in global finance and in building effective cross-cultural relationships to establish Grow Movement.
An initial trial of 10 consultants working with Ugandan entrepreneurs has grown into a UK and US registered charity working with hundreds of businesses per year.
We are grateful to all of our volunteers, entrepreneurs, funders and supporters who have helped this happen.
We are committed to our working collaboratively and sustainably with our community.
We treat everyone with dignity, respect and honesty.
We conduct ourselves with transparency, accountability and integrity in everything we do.
We are ambitious, innovative and focused on excellence.