What if…

(The following post was written by Mona Smith, first published on LinkedIn on 18 Mar 2015.  Reprinted with permission.)

What if…

… you could eliminate poverty in Africa
… you could make a real positive difference to somebody’s life
… you could make a direct contribution to sustainable economic development in Africa
… you could use your skills and experience to change the lives of others
… you could volunteer your skills, experience and time from the comfort of your home




In these days of Comic Relief, Children in Need and many other worthy causes, a lot of us are getting ‘donation fatigue’ and some of us would also love to do something directly by donating our time to make a real difference.  Now’s your chance!

By volunteering your time and business skills with Grow Movement, you will make a positive difference to the lives of people in some of the poorest countries in Africa from the comfort of your front room.

I volunteer with a fantastic charity, Grow Movement, providing business coaching to entrepreneurs in Africa.  We are looking to recruit more volunteer coaches/mentors who want to use their business skills to provide valuable guidance and mentorship and make a real sustainable difference.

2015 is a huge and exciting year!  Grow Movement has an incredible opportunity to demonstrate its impact by conducting an academic research study in Uganda with London Business School and Chicago Booth School of Business in June 2015.  This study will enable Grow in the future to influence Government policy, expand and attract more funding.

600 entrepreneurs will start Grow Movement Consultancy services and have their business performance compared against 400 business owners who do have access to Grow until later in 2016.  As part of this project (in addition to the 100 or so projects we run each year) we will need to recruit 600 volunteer consultants (coaches) over the next few months and this is where we would like your help.  Read more here.

Who are the recipients of the coaching?

Micro, small and medium businesses represent the backbone of local economies in most developing countries.  They are vehicles for accelerating economic growth, generating employment, foreign exchange and tax revenues.  In Uganda alone, they contribute 75% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  However, these small enterprises face unique challenges which limit their full potential to contribute to their country’s economy.  Most businesses work without proper planning, have poor accounting and financial records, limited customer care, no strategy for costing and pricing their services/products and work with a short term outlook and vision.  By connecting volunteer consultants with entrepreneurs, we can accelerate the economic performance of these businesses by plugging these knowledge gaps.  Over Skype, phone and email, solutions can be found by sharing the business expertise of our volunteer consultants with the local knowledge of our entrepreneurs.  Grow Movement aims to balance out the life lottery that has prevented our entrepreneurs from being able to access the right skills training to be able to run their businesses as effectively as possible.

How does it work?

You will be linked with an entrepreneur in Uganda and each project is completed through 12 sessions over Skype, phone and email over a period of 3-6 months starting in June 2015.  Each session is 1 hour plus some time for preparation and record keeping.

What’s in it for me?

  • Make a direct, tangible and sustainable impact.  Create employment, enhance the business skills of an entrepreneur and increase profitability.
  • Improve my skills.  Develop and enhance consulting, cross-cultural communication and coaching skills.
  • Gain new knowledge.  Learn about different business sectors in an emerging market.
  • Be challenged.  Consulting via technology to Uganda is not for everyone.  The business landscape is very different, data is limited and the usual tools available for business are not readily accessible.
  • Experience a fulfilling opportunity that inspires, motivates and refreshes me.
  • Connect with like-minded business professionals.  Grow has a vast global network of over 500 volunteer consultants.
  • Support through skills development rather than aid and handouts.

For more information on Grow Movement please go to http://www.growmovement.org

What are you waiting for?  Sign up to become a Volunteer Consultant

If you know of somebody else who may be interested in volunteering with Grow Movement, please like and share.


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