Uganda Recognizes Low Cost, High Impact Grow Consulting Model

Press release:

Nov 25, 2011 Grow Movement: Ugandan Privatisation Minister recognises new low cost consulting model for international development
In its first two years, the pioneer international development consultancy Grow Movement, has helped create 100 jobs in Uganda. Each job created cost $100 in central Ugandan overheads, a cost base thirty times cheaper than conventional expatriate development consultants.

The 37 participating entrepreneurs and small businesses reported an average increase in profits of 20% (6% median increase) in real terms in an 18.7% inflationary environment. They have all confirmed that their Grow Movement consultants were a significant influence on these outcomes.

The results demonstrate that Grow Movement, which is staffed by 102 volunteer consultants from 29 countries, has successfully created a new model for international development consultancy.

In response to these results the Uganda Minister of State for Privatization Aston Kajara recognised the work of Grow Movement in a speech (attached) attended by the Head of the European Union Delegation in Uganda , as part of the work of partners led by Enterprise Uganda with Ugandan entrepreneurs. The minister then visited stalls from two Grow Movement clients, Numa Feeds and Grace Andma.

In a relatively short time, these results have shown that there is an emerging new model for international development that can dramatically reduce overhead costs while at the same time increase local impact. In times where institutions such as DFID are promoting the use of innovation and technologies to support pro-poor strategies and guarantee value for money, examples like Grow Movement demonstrate that it is possible.

Established by London fund manager Chris Coghlan in 2009, Grow Movement measures itself against three key objectives to support the fight against poverty: job creation; improving economic performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and building capacity to successfully run and grow a business. By using mobile and internet platforms, Grow Movement consultants and the Ugandan entrepreneurs are able to collaborate, share knowledge experience and insight, without the burden of heavy time commitments or cost.

Grow Movement currently has just one full-time employee, Kampala-based project manager Violet Busingye, who is responsible for coordinating the recruitment and participation of local businesses. Busingye is already training a second project manager Steiner Kagwiria who will help Grow Movement continue to expand into new countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Malawi.

The Minister’s speech was part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Uganda, where Violet also addressed an audience of a few hundred entrepreneurs about Grow Movement’s work. As a result, 125 entrepreneurs have applied to be part of Grow Movement.

The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is a major source of job creation and income across Africa; for example in Uganda, SMEs contribute 75% of the country’s GDP.

However, challenges such as inadequate technical and managerial skills, low standards for local products, lack of finance skills for business start-ups and lack of vision and experience often threaten fledgling businesses as they look to grow and expand.

If you want to learn more about Grow Movement, take part or support our work go to www.growmovement.org for further details.

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