Grow Movement featured in the news

Grow Movement in the Economist

We are excited to share that Grow Movement has been featured in an article written by the Economist. 

“Budding business folk need other sorts of assistance. Down a narrow alley in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, Ivan Zziwa has built a mini-conglomerate. He fixes phones, sells accessories, blends juice, hires out chairs and offers mobile money services, with the help of four people. He says online conversations with a volunteer mentor in Spain prompted him to expand into wholesale and door-to-door deliveries. This offered a way to market his existing businesses to new customers. It may also reduce risk.

The mentoring was arranged by Grow Movement, an ngo that pairs volunteer consultants from all over the world with small businesses in Africa. A forthcoming study finds that entrepreneurs who received this long-distance coaching increased their monthly sales by a quarter. They did so not by changing their business practices, such as accounting, but by changing their entire business. One stationer describes how he started making his own exercise books, which was cheaper than buying them. A rural businessman selling liquid soap and fertiliser decided to expand into solar lights, water filters and cooking stoves after his mentor prodded him to look for unmet needs.”

Click here to read the full article.

Other articles about Grow Movement

Grow Movement was also featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

“Mentorship can be helpful, but different mentorship structures achieve different outcomes. Available evidence suggests that mentorship can help entrepreneurs change their practices and accelerate business growth. But not all mentorship programs are alike, and different types of mentors can affect entrepreneurs differently. A study in Uganda found that a program with international mentors made entrepreneurs more likely to significantly “pivot” their overall business strategy, while a study in Kenya showed that local mentors helped drive a 20 percent increase in firm profits during the mentorship period (although businesses did not sustain this growth beyond the mentorship period).”

Professor Anderson from Stanford Business School published an article regarding his research, which includes the Uganda Study. 

“Many experts believe one of the best ways to improve economic conditions in emerging markets is to help entrepreneurs — especially those running small businesses — grow.

The Uganda project was the beginning of my second research stream, which examines the role of product development. This initial study looks at business model innovation — also known as pivoting — and whether firms in emerging markets can shift how they create, deliver, and capture customer value. For the marketing intervention, we used a one-on-one remote coaching model that facilitated connections across markets. Through our partner, we recruited hundreds of professionals in advanced markets all over the world, about 40 different countries. The coach could be an MBA grad in New York, or someone working for Deloitte in London, or someone with valuable business experience who just wants to help others. The coaches Skyped with local entrepreneurs from around Kampala once a week or every other week for six months to help them come up with ways to shift the direction of their businesses. While there is inevitably some knowledge transfer, it is difficult to effectively train someone on the other side of the world via email, phone, and Skype. But that was OK. We were more interested in how to stimulate pivots (not business practices) and then measure their impact on firm sales. It was less about skills and more about changing product-related strategies.”

5 October 2019

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