Grow Movement has measured its impact in a rigorous, independent Randomised Control Trial, considered the gold-standard for impact measurement, which featured in The Economist. In 2015, a collaboration of Stanford University, Chicago Booth and London Business School, part funded by UK AID, commenced an independent Randomised Control Trial of the Grow Movement method of poverty alleviation. 530 entrepreneurs in Uganda received consulting from Grow Movement’s volunteer consultants whilst another 400 did not receive this support and were monitored as a control group. After six to nine months of the consulting program, the research team [which includes Assistant Professor Stephen Anderson of Stanford Business School, Professor Pradeep Chintagunta of the Chicago Booth School of Business and Professor Naufel Vilcassim of the London School of Economics] conducted follow-up audits at about 12 months and 18 months post-intervention.
The study found that compared to the control group of 400 firms, who did not receive any consulting, entrepreneurs helped by volunteer consultants grew monthly sales by 27 percent. Further, research showed 63 percent of entrepreneurs were more likely to pivot or shift marketing strategies than controls. In a subsequent study specifically analyzing coaches who specialized in marketing, monthly sales increased by 51 percent, on average, while monthly profits grew by 35.8 percent, and total assets by 31 percent.
Example business changes include a juice bar expanding into door to door delivery and a mechanics shop narrowing its focus to more profitable oil and tire changes.
Grow Movement’s founder, Chris Coghlan, said “Grow Movement is pioneering a new method of poverty relief. This study demonstrates that entrepreneurs in the poorest communities on earth have the determination, when combined with the right coaching, to empower themselves and their communities to end poverty. This approach has the potential to transform how we support people out of poverty on a global scale.