Friday, 21 December 2012

Grow Movement TED talk

Chris Coghlan, Grow Movement's founder, TED talk at TEDx London Business School in April 2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Grow Movement advises Ugandan Stroke Rehabilitation Centre

Uganda's average life expectancy is just 53 years, 18 years below the global average, and considerably less than that of the African continent (58 years)*. The number of doctors in proportion to the population is astoundingly low, with only one doctor for every 10,000 people. 

Strokes are one of the top 5 causes of death in Uganda, largely due to the prevalence of risk factors. Approximately 7.3% of the population are affected by HIV and 25% by sickle cell anaemia. This, in addition to insufficient quantities of fruit and vegetables in typical diets and the abuse of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, means that the Ugandan population are particularly vulnerable to strokes.

When local resident Ibrahim Bukenya graduated from the Mulago School of physiotherapy, he realized that he wanted to help stroke survivors. After attending a Grow Movement empowerment programme, he was assigned a consultant, Mr. Nichola Bianchi. Mr. Bianchi used his experience in finance to advise Ibrahim by email or telephone on a weekly basis, working with him from Italy to formulate business plans and learn about how to manage the financial side of a business by monitoring cash flow and creating a balance sheet. With this advice, in 2010 Ibrahim established the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre in Wampewo

Ibrahim Bukenya helps a patient get back on his feet 
Ibrahim said of the process of launching the centre: 'The best moment was when I was introduced to Nichola, he really helped me to organise my business and understand the financial terms.' 

From singlehandedly running a home physiotherapy service from a rented room in Kampala, Ibrahim is now the founder and principal physiotherapist of The Stroke Rehabilitation Centre, a non-governmental organisation which treats about 15 patients, recovering from strokes or spinal problems, each month, as well as offering employment to local people.

His work is crucial in treating the severe psychological and physical conditions found in people after a stroke. Stroke survivors commonly experience depression, anxiety, loss of mobility and impaired speech. If left untreated, these conditions may last a lifetime. Before they can resume their daily lives, a long period of rehabilitation is often required. At the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre, to aid patients in their recovery process, each is individually assessed to ensure that they recieve the ideal treatment for their specific situation. The centre also offers support and advice to the family and friends of patients. 

After suffering from a stroke, Moses Opolot could not stand, sit or talk. When he was introduced to the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre,  'I started attending therapy and after a few weeks, I started experiencing great improvement. I learnt to walk with a stick, and later was able to walk by myself.' Staff at the centre worked closely with his family, teaching them to the best way to help him recover. Moses is now able to drive again and hopes to resume the life he had before his stroke soon.

2012 World Stroke Day Walk
In addition to being responsible for the progress of its patients, the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre is instrumental in raising stroke awareness in Uganda. In Uganda, many people believe that after having a stroke, a person is unable to resume their life and must remain indoors until their death. The efforts of the SRC to dispel this harmful misconception include organising an annual walk for World Stroke Day which was the first acknowledgement of the day in Uganda.

Ibrahim hopes that in the future, the centre will grow so that it is able to offer accommodation to over 50 patients. With the support of his second Grow Movement consultant, Nishi Agrawal from India, he is currently working to raise 100 million Ugandan shillings (about $37,000 or £23,000) over the next four years in order to purchase land to see his vision fulfilled, spreading his care network to the rest of Uganda. 

The actions of the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre demonstrate the ability and potential of a few individuals to make a significant difference to their community.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Violet Busingye's experience at Global Entrepreneurship Week Rwanda with Educat

The Real Business Accelerator (RBA) in Rwanda was an intense week long opportunity for 10 high potential Rwandan entrepreneurs to convert a brilliant idea into action and kick-start their business. Hosted by Educat  with a help of their partners to facilitate a professional framework throughout the week, offering various training sessions, coaching, legal advice and budget support, ICT support etc

Our main role as a partner was to place 10 Grow Movement remote volunteers with individual entrepreneurs and supporting them throughout the week. It was an amazing opportunity and a mutual benefit for everybody who participated!

Teta pitching her business, Inzuki Designs
I didn’t have plan B, this is what I have to do for a living!Says Teta

In Africa, for every one single job in the formal sector, there are over 50 people struggling for it.  In each country in Africa for example Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi thousands of new graduates compete with peers who completed earlier for few jobs available each year not mentioning the old age bracket group people in these countries who never want to retire from their formal jobs due to a lot of insecurities in their lives.   

A young lady Teta Isibo, the founder of Inzuki Designs, a local Rwandan company specialising in African jewellery, accessories and interior d├ęcor, is an indomitable woman that inspired the jury during the Real Business Accelerator last month. She was Born in Nairobi but raised up in Uganda, the third born in a family of six returned with her family to Rwanda in 1996 after the genocide where she studied and managed to complete her Bachelors of Science degree.
While talking to her I learnt she is passionate about designing “I am doing something that I chose to do, something I am passionate about and naturally good at. Although the decision to open my own store was radical, I have not regretted it even a single day. I have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish especially supporting talented rural women and this is what drives me every single day and I have found hope”, she says. 

Like many of us,  she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do as a child but she was always interested in anything creative and always had an eye for design and always waited for opportunities to enhance her dream.  Like any other youth in Rwanda, Teta was looking for answers relating to survival after school. However, she has found hope in her business and she has been able to create employment to fellow young women as young as she is. She hopes to be supporting over 90 women in the next one year. 

Grow Movement is committed to supporting the Rwandan entrepreneurs like the 10 real business accelerator to realize their dreams and help create a great social impact in Rwanda a help form our partners like Educat.  Among others, Teta is working with Mimi Ng her Grow consultant based in Canada focused on supporting her develop Logistics of selling internationally, Marketing, branding the business to stand out from its competitors and strategically planning for her business…

The 10 RBA candidates supported by Grow Movement

It was amazing to have 10 Grow Movement international volunteer consultants willing to work remotely supporting 10 candidates on Global Entrepreneurship week (4 based in UK and 5 from Kenyan, Tanzania, Afghanistan,  
 Canada and India.) They held a few sessions during the week to support the candidates throughout their endeavors.  They have continued working with their clients for about 3-5 months to help contribute to and promote entrepreneurship development in Rwanda by supporting Rwandan committed entrepreneurs in equipping them with proper business practises and accelerating their businesses.

A lot of talented young people are willing and have the capacity to make a change in their lives and to support their communities if given a chance. The 10 candidates I worked with during the GEW week are very ambitious, motivated and willing to venture into private enterprise and walk the road of successful people.  Grow Movement together with its partners, volunteer business consultants and sponsors are committed to support the start-up and existing businesses to Grow with the ultimate aim of making more money, create more jobs and keep their businesses sustainable. It is a low cost, collaborative approach to development where both clients and consultants learn from one another.

Working out at a piggery and chicken farm

Entrepreneurs in Africa depend largely on household resources, individual ef­forts and grants from well-wishers to get started in business. However, despite achievements, the challenges faced by the entrepreneurs range from mindsets to enterprise to lack of business skills to efficiently run successful businesses. 

Traditional script has always been that to succeed in business, you must get a lot of capital and it has to come from outside. All the greatest business stories have always started with what one had with hum­ble beginnings for example of a chicken project, piggery, a garage as a factory or a road kiosk as a shop location.  

Grow Movement teams both locally in our countries of operation, volunteers and its directors combine efforts meant to cause promi­nence and visibility of entrepreneurship as a MOVEMENT in addressing today’s chal­lenges poverty, unemployment and sustainable development.