Executive Director and Cofounder
Violet grew up in Uganda after her parents fled Rwanda before the genocide. She always wanted to serve her community which had suffered so much from conflict and extreme poverty. So, she co-founded Grow Movement in 2009 with Chris Coghlan. Since then, Violet has dedicated her career to serving entrepreneurs in developing countries because she believes local entrepreneurship is the best way to sustainably end poverty. Thanks to her efforts, Grow Movement has improved the lives of over 50,000 people in her community and across Africa and pioneered a new method of international poverty relief; coaching entrepreneurs over mobile phone. Violet holds a degree in business from Makere University.
Founder & Chairperson
Chris saw the impact of conflict and extreme poverty on children in post-civil war Mozambique when he was eighteen. Ever since he has believed that the struggle to end conflict and extreme poverty is the defining moral issue of our time. So Chris founded Grow Movement with Violet when he saw the potential of mobile technology to fight poverty. And he served as a British soldier and diplomat in Iraq against ISIS. Chris holds Masters degrees from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and from London Business School. Chris began his career as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte.
John Correa leads Information Technology for Grow Movement. He is skilled in technology strategy, business development and technical leadership to motivate change and foster innovation. John is a senior strategist at Microsoft and a graduate of MIT, where he helped devise the “Social & Business Network Analysis for Fundraising”. He is passionate about the use of technology to provide solutions for social problems. He has worked as a volunteer in Asia Pacific and for the UN.
Aoibheann Rogers is a marketing and business professional who has worked in Australia, Asia, UK and Africa in a variety of functions including Sales & Marketing, Corporate Strategy and Commercial Project Management. Aoibheann joined Grow Movement in 2015 as a Volunteer Consultant during the Uganda600 program, working with an inspiring young entrepreneur named Jesca. She is a strong believer in enabling people to help themselves and their communities by providing the right frameworks and support. Aoibheann holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and Asian Studies (Indonesian) from Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia.
Mark Croft is a long-time supporter of Grow Movement. Mark is the founder and Managing Director of Clarus Consulting and has over 20 years’ experience working in consulting across various sectors. Prior to this, he spent over 8 years working mainly in retail having started out in engineering. During this time he was involved in acquisitions and post-merger integrations, as well as the development of new retailing concepts. Mark has considerable experience working with board level executives and leading major business and IT transformational programmes both in the UK and Europe. He has a MA in Information & Electronic Science from Cambridge University.
Paul has lived and worked in over 20 countries, and spent 4 years permanently based in the USA. His wife was born in Tanzania and his parents were early immigrants from India to the UK. Paul has extensive industry experience in business and IT, working in start-ups and global consultancies. As a consequence of his travels and experience he has gained invaluable insight from working in multi-cultural environments and fully appreciates that all our needs – from all walks of life – are more alike, than we sometimes care to believe. Respect and service is at the heart of understanding people. Only then can we strive to deliver results that will empower and enable and lift us all.
An original trustee in 2009, Anthony served as Grow Movement’s first Development Director and partnered with founder Chris Coghlan to help secure the first three-years of funding for the organization. An opera singer (including New York City Opera principal tenor) for twenty years, Anthony transitioned to the nonprofit sector in 2009 and served as Development Director at Oakcliff Sailing and Chordoma Foundation. He is a consultant to nonprofits, specializing in strategic planning, communications, partnerships, storytelling, donor cultivation and presentation. He is graduate of Duke University (BA History, BA Drama) and Columbia University (MA Nonprofit Management) and now serves as Associate Instructor at Columbia University teaching Media and Communications and Ethics in the Master in Nonprofit Management Program.
Laurent spent a year working as a Change Manager for Save the Children International on the ground in the DR Congo, Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria. He is a passionate advocate of sustainable solutions to close the economic gap between many developed and developing countries and became involved in Grow Movement as a result. Laurent is a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group and has a Masters in Strategic Management from HEC Paris and a BA in Economics and Management from Oxford University.