fbpx
Launching Uganda600… how are we doing?

Launching Uganda600… how are we doing?

Launching Uganda600… how are we doing?

On the 20th July Grow Movement launched more projects in one day than in our entire combined history of 5 years. 570 projects went live on our new IT system. At Grow we do like a challenge so launching all of this on one day some may say ‘crazy’, others admire our go getting nature.

So 7 weeks on how are we doing? Today we have 520 projects left so we are running at around a 90% success rate which is a huge improvement on our standard rate which is usually around 75%. The drivers for this improvement is enabling our client managers to be present during the first and second sessions. We have found that this is invaluable in supporting our clients who can often be nervous and very unsure on what to expect… which is often the case for our volunteers too!

The main drivers for our project fails have been down to clients’ business closing, or others just feeling that this is too overwhelming, or perhaps just missing what a great opportunity this is. We have had a number of volunteers drop out as well owing to change in work commitments, or illness within the family. All clients that have had a failed VC have been re-matched if the client manager agrees the client should stay on the programme. For those volunteers who have had a failed client most have been re-matched and any should have been contacted this week by your client manager.

Our new IT system has proved to be a big hit especially with our volunteers who have been with Grow for a while. 2 years ago we were all excel and google docs with VCs emailing our client managers to update on progress. Now volunteers can record their sessions on line, leaving comments that our client managers can see. We have had a few teething problems in terms of log ins, emails going to spam, session dates not being recorded properly! These are all being worked out. The online community and mobile versions will be available from the 1st of October 2015.

Making calls!

Other challenges have included ‘boot leg videos’. When you run so many projects on mass situations that have been around for a while suddenly take on a different light. Across Africa, South East Asia and South Americas boot leg DVD retailers are quite common and an entry point into business for many entrepreneurs. A number of VCs raised the issue if Grow should be working with those companies that flout international copy right laws, yet are registered to retail in Uganda. Grow took counsel from Enterprise Uganda, London Business School and members of our Uganda Advisory Board and made the decision to work only with those companies that have revenue from other products and services other than boot leg DVDs. A difficult decision to take.

Uganda 600 talking

Further challenges include the ‘adjustment process’ for new VCs. With over 400 new VCs getting to grips with clients without email access, smart phone or lap tops and whom have a very different approach to time, who will cancel sessions at the last minute and not do homework…it takes time! It is often difficult to know in the beginning how many sessions is it ok to cancel, how late can a client be before they are being rude? The simple answer is just to be patient… our clients are new to this process and at the start do not fully get it. Be patient, relax and stick with it. Once you get over session 5 the penny drops…..on both sides!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

You can unsubscribe at anytime and view our privacy policy here.

Eric celebrates 2 years with Grow Movement in Rwanda

Eric celebrates 2 years with Grow Movement in Rwanda

Eric celebrates 2 years with Grow Movement in Rwanda

Eric Iyaremye joined Grow Movement 2 years ago and has progressed to be our Country Manager for Rwanda. We selected a great candidate and have seem him flourish beyond any expectations we could have had. Well done Eric, the Grow team is proud of you!

“…A few weeks before my Graduation from the National University of Rwanda, back in 2003 I saw a job advert for Grow Movement through Generation Rwanda platform. I didn’t hesitate to apply! I was and I hope I still am quite a positive guy despite all this negative altitude amongst university graduates in Rwanda that there is no way you could get a job straight after college because of the experience requirements. Yes there is a truth in that but I had a couple of volunteering assignments while I was at university which gave me a slight advantage and a bit of luck…”

“…I remember I did three interviews; the second one was the most interesting. I am sure Violet who was Grow movement Country Manager then, a nice Lady and now a big friend of mine would agree that the last few minutes made a big difference on the final decision. By the way I won’t forget another Violet who was on the panel; she is the Country Director for DOT Rwanda, she smiled at me and said you are a smart boy, I will give you a job if Grow movement doesn’t hire you and I confidently said to her “I AM SURE THEY WILL HIRE ME” and yes Grow movement ended up hiring me. It was special because a call came from London when I was on my way back from Graduation ceremony at University…”

“…That was on Wednesday, I started the job on Monday the following week. When I stepped in the office, I didn’t know what to expect, it was a small office and everyone had a cup of coffee, it was not too strange because I was used to a ‘Mzungo’ environment at Generation Rwanda. Violet gave me a warm welcome and a special induction week, I settled in pretty quickly and got in the job mood straight. Ever since I started the Job, it was great experience .Yes it can be one of those nerve wracking experiences given the fact that someone else’s actions determine your success and therefore you need to chase people all day long but the skills I learned, the impact I make cancel all the stress which give me a good feeling…”

“…I can’t believe it’s been two years already, I joined on 1st, September 2013 and that’s why I am sharing this story. Claire Jenkins-Grow movement CEO has been extremely supportive; in fact I can write a piece of its own. Also I can’t forget to mention Jeremy Roebuck, an old volunteer, Grow Scotland Country Manager and My mentor. He did two projects in Rwanda and that’s was our initial bond. It’s one of those times where there are certain people you meet in life when you need them the most. I needed a mentor to help me deal with job challenges and Jeremy has been more that helpful in that capacity. We crossed professional line to develop personal relationship, he knows my career goals and he’s been advising me how to fulfil them. In fact, Jeremy and Claire have been helpful in my pursuit of a scholarship in UK which I am positive I will get. But one thing I’ve learned about Jeremy is that” Life is all about satisfaction”. Even if you make billions and you are not satisfied you will never be happy and that is priceless…”

“…In General, my time at Grow movement so far has been fulfilling, I met all kinds of people from a wide range of background but most importantly, I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and business environment in Rwanda which is critical because I aspire to do something of my own in the future. I can’t thank everyone enough, my Grow movement colleagues in Uganda and Malawi, as well as Educat staff members for all the support and Love. THANK YOU!”

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

You can unsubscribe at anytime and view our privacy policy here.

Matthew Crawford from the Young MCA talks about #Uganda600 consulting

Matthew Crawford from the Young MCA talks about #Uganda600 consulting

So how are Grow’s new team of volunteer consultants doing on Uganda600? Matthew Crawford, a member of the Young MCA and a Management Consultant at Atkins, shares his experience so far.

“I’m just a few weeks into my Uganda 600 experience, but already it’s been a fantastic experience with some invaluable lessons to learn. Having previously worked in South Africa and Ghana I had some idea what to expect, though every new opportunity brings with it some challenges!”

 

“My client, Stephen Byarugaba, is a young entrepreneur balancing his time between running a retail shop (open around 16 hours a day!) and studying software engineering. He’s looking to understand how to manage his finances and expand his business in spite of significant competition in the local area – challenges that are familiar to many small businesses.”

“Having called Stephen briefly to introduce myself and subsequently having to deal with some ‘inconsistent’ reception, I set up a first session and invited Stella, my client manager, to join as well. The two of them have been fantastic in making themselves available and despite the difficulties involved with technology, we’ve managed to get into a regular routine. Whatsapp has been essential in helping us to keep in touch and we’ve even succeeded in using it to hold our sessions.”

“Stephen has been a pleasure to work with thus far and has lived up to Grow Movement’s description of a typical client – he has some fantastic ideas, is always keen to learn and has completed the tasks I’ve set him so far to a high level of detail. We’re now looking to set up a financial model that will enable him to track his finances month-by-month, while also seeking feedback from his customers and exploring how to improve the service offered to them. With four sessions completed we still have a lot of work to do, but I’m hoping that we can work together to give Stephen’s business a real advantage in the future.”

 

Good luck for the rest of your sessions Matthew and Stephen from all at Grow Movement!

Grant Winning Young Recycling Entrepreneur in Uganda

Grant Winning Young Recycling Entrepreneur in Uganda

Grant Winning Young Recycling Entrepreneur in Uganda

At Grow Movement we are always immensely proud of all of our clients for the achievements that they make on the programme. Grow is even more thrilled when our clients, with the help of their consultants, obtain essential funding to progress their ideas.

Cleofash Alinaitwe, a young entrepreneur from Kampala Uganda has just been awarded a grant from the Pollination Project. The Pollination Project seeks to unleash goodness and expand compassion all over the world by funding social change-makers who are committed to a world that works for all.

Through a global network of grantees and community partners, they identify extraordinary grassroots leaders who would not likely qualify for funding from other foundations or institutions.

Cleofash runs a youth-led non-governmental organization called the Art Planet Academy. One of his projects is to run student recycling awards in schools across Kampala to promote student-led waste management including the sorting and processing of recyclables. Finalists will be given the opportunity to implement their designs and will use the recyclables they collect to create artistic projects for their communities.

Well done Cleofash! Grow Movement is excited to hear how this project progresses. Wishing you good luck for the future!

You can unsubscribe at anytime and view our privacy policy here.

We are nearly there!

We are nearly there!

We are nearly there!

Grow Movement recently sent Mark Neild Chairman, Cass Business School Alumni and ILM Fellow over to Uganda to assist with training our new Uganda600 team on our new IT system…and to give him some context as well as the experience of going to work on a motorbike.

“It was fabulous for me to get out on the ground and work with the team in Kampala on the final preparations for starting our projects. We put the Project Management System through its paces, ironed out the last few bugs and tested connectivity. It is not quite perfect yet, but at least we have a platform that will massively help us run over 600 projects at the same time. The team on the ground is a true asset too. I had the opportunity to accompany one of them finalizing clients for our projects and nothing really prepared me for the conditions in which some of our clients operate. Crammed into a basement stall little more than 2m by 1m, selling a small selection of cheap good imported from China with insufficient money for any really inviting stock. Try competing here!”

Mark Neild Grow Chair

“We also signed up a “job consultant” operating out of a small first floor apartment, but with a long line of hopefuls occupying every spare seat in the hope of an interview that might land them a job.

Uganda down town

With our support we can help him secure more job openings from potential employers and open up a training academy that will help him to give job seekers the skills they need to land better jobs.”

Job consultant in Uganda

“While there I also met the Uganda representative for DfID (our major funder), Charles Ocici who runs Enterprise Uganda our key partner in Kampala and the MD of a micro finance firm with whom we are doing a pilot. Developing these relationships is absolutely vital to sustaining what we do.”

Really looking forward to getting Uganda600 started and a huge HUGE thanks to so many people for their heroic efforts to make it possible.

Monday, 13 July 2015

You can unsubscribe at anytime and view our privacy policy here.