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Get involved in the GROW movement

Helen Mayson

An entreprenetur from Grow

Do you know that ILM is involved with the GROW movement, which links management professionals with entrepreneuers in developing countries in mentoring relationships? The GROW team give us an update and share how you can get involved

Grow Movement utilises a global team of business consultants to improve the performance of micro entrepreneurs in Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi. Using Skype, phone and email, business skills and experience in marketing, finance and strategy are shared, enabling our small business owners to increase their profits and number of employees. Our consultants offer their time pro bono, remaining in their own countries enabling Grow Movement to operate a very low-cost model.

Grow Movement only works in the Least Developed Countries in the world. We started in Uganda in 2009, registered as a charity in the UK in 2010 and expanded operations to Rwanda and Malawi in 2012. We are funded by the British Government, The Bulldog Trust and Genesis Charitable Trust.

How we do it

Our local African team recruit all consultants and entrepreneurs to Grow Movement and then match them together for six months and 12 consultancy sessions. Six months after the sessions are completed they conduct an impact assessment on profitably and job creation.

Our volunteers

Our consultants are senior business professionals recruited to a rigorous standard from leading business schools and professional membership bodies in the UK, Europe, India and the USA. They have a wealth of experience in marketing, finance and strategy.

Our entrepreneurs

Our Grow volunteer consultants work with micro (less than five employees), small (six to 22) and medium sized (22 and above) companies in the service, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The majority of organisations that we work with have fewer than five employees.

We work with small retailers selling produce, grocery, clothing and electricals; bars and restaurants; farmers growing livestock and produce; health care centres; primary and secondary schools; web design companies; football academies and brick manufactures.

Why volunteer with us

You can transform the lives of entrepreneurs and their families, increase their profitability and create jobs. Grow Movement provides a way to volunteer without having to leave your home country, as well as providing an opportunity to practice your skills and enhance your CV.

However, it is a challenge. Many of our clients, though well motivated, lack basic business skills and experience. Our volunteer consultants also experience challenges with cultural differences, communications problems and the vast differences in their everyday life with those of our entrepreneurs. It is an exciting, unique experience with a number of opportunities to learn and overcome challenges in these areas and others.

How to apply

You will need fluency in English, willingness to pay for the cost of calls to a mobile if entrepreneur is not on Skype and at least one of the following: a formal business qualification (e.g. Chartered Accountant, corporate lawyer or MBA); manager in a blue-chip company; five years relevant industry (SME) experience; a professional management consultant; a professional investor in emerging markets; a development professional with appropriate experience; or five years experience running your own company. You will also need the ability to moderate language to an East African audience and to encourage, coax and hand-hold through a steep learning curve.

You can apply online to become a Grow mentor. The Grow team will organise a 30-minute interview over Skype within two weeks. Your skills will be matched with a choice of entrepreneurs within one to four weeks and you then have six months to complete the project, regularly progress updating the Grow Manager.

Contact Us

Phone: 00 44 7561 306277
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