Grow Movement featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Grow Movement 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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