VOLUNTEER CONSULTANT

Till Koch

“Impactful and mutually beneficial”

A Project Manager for a London web and app development company, Till’s specialisms are Project Management, Web and App Development, and Entrepreneurship. Till first came across Grow Movement though Regents University where he obtained a degree in International Business and Spanish.

He was motivated by a desire to help others and to learn something himself. Harriet, 26, is an entrepreneur from Kampala. Her business is the retail of fabrics and textiles imported from Kenya to the female over 50s market.

“I really enjoyed the talks with Harriet. They helped me become more familiar with the African culture. I learned a lot about consulting, trust-building (relationship management) and the importance of setting deadlines."

'Harriet wanted to focus our sessions on improving her business’s financial health so we set the twin objectives of increasing profitability and improving product lines. Our Skype sessions varied between 60–90 minutes and we e-mailed on a regular basis, in particular to exchange files. Initially I found it hard to get Harriet's true opinion about certain subjects – for instance, it took her two months to tell me how much profit she generated. This is part of the cultural difference that I have learned to navigate. Harriet began to send me her finances before our sessions along with research she had conducted. I relied on Harriet's insight and opinion as I wasn’t familiar with the textile industry in Kampala."

For Till and Harriet the experience was mutually beneficial. “I learned that certain business techniques considered standard practice in the UK were simply not acceptable to a Kamala entrepreneur, for example offering a discount. Harriet learned how to keep track of her finances and crucially how to track key expenses and sources of income. She began to implement a lot of changes that we discussed during our Skype sessions and she opened her new shop a few months ago."

"I provided Harriet with support and encouragement which I believe helped her a lot, especially when the business was going through a tough time."

What would you say to other volunteers thinking about joining Grow Movement?

“Just go with it!”.

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