Monday, 23 September 2013

Super star graduate and coffee #entrepreneur joins Grow Movement in #Rwanda

Eric Iyaremye was born and grew up in the Eastern part of Rwanda. In 2008, he won a scholarship from Generation Rwanda for talented young students to attend university in Kigali. He chose the national university of Rwanda as it was his childhood dream. He did a degree in Agriculture, majoring in Agricultural economic and agribusiness. Eric was the student representative and the National university of Rwanda Agribusiness association president. He graduated in this year with a 2:1 and was the second top performer in his graduating class. He was selected to give the university class graduation speech for his commitment and achievements.

Eric is passionate about community development and making a positive change in society. He likes to read motivational novels including SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE’’ by Stephen covey together with “TAKE THE RISK’’ by Dr Ben Carson. He is also a Manchester United fan and dedicated Christian. He has a natural entrepreneurial streak and is working with his business partners to fill a gap in the market for coffee shops for middle income earners in Rwanda.

Eric believes that “Grow’s work gives me a way forward towards fulfilment of my dreams. One entrepreneur mentored, is at least one less jobless person!

Welcome to the team Eric, we are so happy to have you join our team in Rwanda.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Making beds in Uganda

Meet Sarah a 27 year old entrepreneur living in Kampala, Uganda. She is working with a Canadian consultant to help improve her business. She buys material at the local market and takes it to a tailor to make bed sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers, and then completes the detailed sewing at home by hand. She is hoping to save enough money to be able to buy her own sewing machine so she can make them herself at home, react quickly to customer demands and improve her productivity. She faces numerous challenges in growing her business to be able to do this. Local supermarkets require a significant stocking fee and supply of consistent material design to match customer demands is also a problem. She is working with Ray to help her solve these problems, focusing on financial planning and marketing.

Good luck Sarah, we wish you well with your consultant.
Sarah with her duvet set

Sarah and Claire Jenkins

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Designing Cow Dung vases creates 2 new jobs for #Rwandan #entrepreneur #socialgood #volunteer #giveback #dogood

In June 2013 I had the chance to meet Teta; a talented Rwanda designer in her shop in Kigali, Rwanda. She works with local African cooperative groups to produce  fashionable clothes, shoes and jewellery that are suitable for the professional ladies of Kigali. Imagine my surprise when handling a beautiful vase that turned out to be made from cow dung!
Teta, her new sales assistant and Violet Grow Rwanda 
Spot the cow dung vases!
 She started working with Grow Movement and her USA consultant Mimi Ng in 2012 to work on her export business to the African diaspora in the USA. Together they worked on her export and distribution plan using Skype and email. To help her focus on expanding her business and completing her home work for Mimi she employed an additional sales person and accountant. Mimi and Teta have built such a strong relationship that stay in contact and still work together to help improve Teta's business.

Great work Mimi, thank you for supporting Grow Movement and helping to create jobs. Teta, we wish you every luck in your business.

Claire Jenkins and Teta in Kigali

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Bingo! 3 new jobs created by #Skype volunteering in #Uganda #socialgood #volunteer #giveback #dogood

David and Brian Kalule in their factory
On my recent visit to Uganda in June I had the opportunity to meet with David and Brian Kalule, both keen England football supporters as well as entrepreneurs being assisted by Grow Movement volunteer consultants. They manufacture liquid soap for industrial cleaning, based in a small workshop on the outskirts of Entebbe. With the support of their Indian consultant Joby Abraham they worked on finance and marketing issues facing their liquid soap manufacturing business. Over 6 months using Skype they worked together focusing on how to improve their manufacturing process and increase their customer base as well as recording their financial records.
Uganda Grow Manager Joshua Mwesige

And what an impact they had! When they started the business David was working full time at the airport and Brian was at university. They worked at the weekend and evenings and were not earning sufficient enough to be paid out of the business. 6 months after completing their project they have created 3 new jobs, including sales and packing assistants as well as both being paid. Their profits have gone up by 50%

Amazing what can be done with skills sharing over Skype, the willingness and time commitment of a volunteer and the drive and ambition of an entrepreneur. Thank you Joby, and well done David and Brian. I hope that your business expands and expands! Good Luck from all at Grow Movement!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Chinese #volunteer uses #Skype to help Ugandan #entrepreneur create 17 New Jobs with the Veg Man #socialgood #volunteer #dogood #giveback

Joe Male is an inspiration to us all. I had the honour of meeting him back in June in Kampala, Uganda.  He first started working with Grow Movement in 2012 with his Chinese consultant Julie Su. Since working with his Grow consultant over Skype from China to Uganda and focusing on finance and marketing he has created 17 new jobs. Joe grows veg including broccoli in his family's garden and is known locally as the 'Veg Man'. Combining the business skills of his volunteer consultants with his natural entrepreneurial spirit he has encouraged other young people in the area to grow veg for him. He now sells veg baskets to the big banks in Kampala, now employs 4 women to run road side produce stalls for him. Joe's entrepreneurial passion is not just limited to the vegetable world. His talent for spotting business opportunity and desire to help his community  has also enabled him to train women in low cost water tank building, and men in brick laying.  On top of this he has also become a first time Dad to baby Mia.

On working with Grow he says: 
"...Grow Consultancy; More impact,more possibilities! I am very proud of . Grow Movement; It gave me the grips to move great miles steadily which  I could not make on my own...Really, through your selfless service, > there are also more promising possibilities for entrepreneurs in the  developing countries like Uganda. May God bless your efforts

 "Know the candle Grow lit in me, is spreading the light to many endless lives unknowing..please, keep the spirit".

I am very proud that as Exec Director that Grow Movement unleashes this entrepreneurial talent in some of the poorest countries on earth by using it's global volunteer team of consultants. Well done Julie and Joe!
Joe Male far right with Joshua Mwesige Uganda Manager and Kenny the operations manager

Joe Male, Kenny and Claire Jenkins Executive Director for Grow Movement