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UK Grow VC travels to Uganda and Malawi

UK Grow VC travels to Uganda and Malawi

UK Grow VC travels to Uganda and Malawi

For the last four weeks Steve Hindle, a Grow VC for Uganda and MSc in Development Studies Candidate has been in Malawi, researching for his dissertation on private sector development. Hear what he has to say…

“I have been privileged to spend time with the Malawi Grow team, particularly Sophie and Willie, and spoke to about a dozen Grow entrepreneurs who have been working with Volunteer Consultants. They love to speak about the impact that their discussions with their VC has made to their businesses and lives. I am struck by how similar the themes are – the benefits they see of starting to keep accurate written records, the knowledge that they are now in control of their cashflow, and can confidently plan any potential investments, and the importance to them of having someone to discuss their marketing ideas with, who can support them in bringing ideas into action.

Grow entrepreneur Naomi with Sophie Kumwanje

I’m now in Kampala, where I have had interesting discussions with Mohammed, Grow’s Uganda manager. I’ve also met up with my own Grow client Moses, and we will shortly visit the school where he is a director, and I’ll be fascinated to see the place that we have been discussing over the last few months.

I’m lucky to have had this time – many of my colleague VCs will only have the chance to see the difference that they make to their own clients. We can’t do everything – problems such as the lack of access to finance, poor infrastructure and lack of affordable business development schemes require concerted efforts by both government, private sector and the donor community.

But what I can say, without any doubt, is that the work of the Grow country teams and us VCs increases these entrepreneurs’ skills and abilities to take control of both their businesses and their lives, and the impact will long outlast the short period of time that we are involved.

If you ever get a chance to visit Malawi, Uganda or Rwanda, do make time to meet with the Grow teams and visit some entrepreneurs. It’s an amazing way to see first-hand how a determined entrepreneur can use Grow’s support to transform their business. ”

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

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Welcoming Judith Oyella to Team Uganda

Welcoming Judith Oyella to Team Uganda

Welcoming Judith Oyella to Team Uganda

Monday March 2nd we welcomed Judith Oyella to Team Uganda. We are all excited to have a new sister in the Grow Movement family. Judith has a degree in Business Administration and Management and a passion for computers. Previously she has volunteered with Alliance for African Assistance, an NGO working with displaced person in Northern Uganda, as well as being a key leader in her local Catholic Church as a Zonal Leader. She has 9 years of experience in the Field of Finance and Administration.

Judith will be working alongside Mohammed and picking up many of the projects that Grace Akullo used to run after her 2 week induction.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

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Recruiting clients in Rwanda

Recruiting clients in Rwanda

Recruiting clients in Rwanda

Grow Movement has gone walk about! Eric and the Grow Movement Rwanda team have spent the last couple of months on a new way of recruiting clients.

Typically our clients from entrepreneurship training courses from our partner organisations. Ever the innovator Eric wanted to try something new, to reach out to entrepreneurs that Grow would not normally meet. Loaded with flyers, business cards and client videos loaded onto an IPad the team went on a recruitment drive talking directly to shop owners in Kigali city. Last week the team hopped on buses to South and Western provinces visiting new and potential clients. Grow Movement is still very new in Rwanda so this was an important awareness raising exercise. Language still remains a key challenge outside of Kigali which is the main city with the biggest English speaking community. Grow look forwards to welcoming our new clients in the near future!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

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Norway, and Holland supporting Kigali Sanitation in Rwanda!

Norway, and Holland supporting Kigali Sanitation in Rwanda!

Norway, and Holland supporting Kigali Sanitation in Rwanda!

Jean Claude Ntakirutimana, a serial entrepreneur and long term client of Grow Movement runs Kigali sanitation LTD, a cleaning company which collects waste from Homes, offices and Public areas. Obsessed with business that brings about positive environmental impacts, Jean Claude continued to think out of the Box. Last year, he came up with a great idea of recycling of electronic hardware including computer which after refurbishment would be sold at a lower price to lower income earners especially in remote areas therefore promoting technology in less affluent sections of the community.

As you can imagine, this is a very ambitious Project which not only requires large Capital investment but also various technical and managerial skills.

Jean Claude tried different funding options; one of them is FONERWA (a groundbreaking environment and climate change fund). FONERWA is always open to funding environmental friendly projects in Rwanda provided that they come up clear documentations describing how their projects are feasible and will achieve intended outcomes.

Two of Grow Movement European Volunteers, Wouter Verster ( a Finance and CRS Professional with many years of experience) and Himanshu Ardawatia who is our current European community manager stepped up to help Jean Claude with such a demanding proposal. Wouter is playing a key role in making sure that the financial numbers are accurate and that the comments that came out of the previous review by FONERWA team are further clarified.

Jean Claude talking to Wouter and Himanshu

Eric, Rwanda Country Manager says “We are also grateful to both Wouter and Himanshu for investing their time and knowledge in making sure everything is ready according to FONERWA requirements. We are keeping all our fingers crossed for Jean Claude. If this project goes through, it will be yet again another amazing case study of how Grow Movement is inspiring entrepreneurs achieve dreams they wouldn’t have been able to achieve otherwise. Grow Movement team is extremely proud of Jean Claude for making the final phase of such a stiff competition.”

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

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#uganda600 launched at London Business School

#uganda600 launched at London Business School

#uganda600 launched at London Business School

Grow Movement launched its #uganda600 impact evaluation project at London Business School last week with over 70 of its volunteers new and past. Starting in June 2015, 600 entrepreneurs in Kampala, Uganda will start working with 600 Grow Movement Consultants. Three of the Worlds most renowned business schools; London Business School, Booth School of Business Chicago and Stanford will evaluate the impact of virtual consultancy on key social and economic indicators.

Mark Neild, Grow’s Chairman opened the event talking about the future of Grow Movement, “2015 is set to be an incredible and pivotal year for Grow Movement and the future of entrepreneurship across the Least Developed Countries of the World!”

Professor Naufel, the principle inspector on the impact evaluation, spoke about the academic shift in focus from lack of access to financial capital to lack of managerial skills in finance, marketing and strategy which lead to micro businesses not growing and developing. He noted that very little academic research has been done into this area hence why he was interested in determining if the Grow Model actually works.

Prof Naufel Vilcassim

Claire Jenkins CEO

Claire Jenkins, CEO spoke to new and existing volunteers asking for help with recruiting additional volunteers to support the evaluation. Claire is asking all consultants to ‘volunteer a peer’ for #uganda600. 600 new consultants are required by June 2015!

If you have a business peer that you think would enjoy and benefit from this experience and has 6 months available from June 2015 then please contact researchproject@growmovement.org

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

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eBay Investing in 5 Retail entrepreneurs in Malawi

eBay Investing in 5 Retail entrepreneurs in Malawi

eBay Investing in 5 Retail entrepreneurs in Malawi

Grow Movement has been awards £1300 grant from eBay Foundation’s employee-volunteer led Give team which empowers employees to support their communities through volunteerism and employee sponsored grants. Funds will be used to fund 5 women retail entrepreneurs in Malawi through the Grow Movement programme.

“The eBay Foundation was established to reach beyond the boundaries of eBay’s virtual village to develop strong communities that bring people together,” said Lauren Moore, Executive Director of eBay Foundation. “Through our GIVE teams, we’ve been able to identify and support a wide variety of outstanding programs that feed families in San Francisco, educate children in India and assist seniors in Germany to name just a few. We could not be happier to add to our list of beneficiaries the Grow Movement and its efforts in Malawi to build entrepreneurship capability with female retail entrepreneurs”.

Grow Movement will invest in the future of 5 female retail entrepreneurs just like Naomi in Malawi. Watch her video here and read her case study here!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

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