Tuesday, 12 May 2015

#Ugandan diaspora in #Uganda

#Uganda600 VC Jana with Marion
Jana Nyanzi, a new #Uganda600 VC and Business consultant for Atos Consulting in London visited Kampala and the #Uganda600 training for the new Grow client managers. 

"...I had the great opportunity of meeting some of the Grow team, clients, and managers whilst in Uganda earlier this month. The enthusiasm and passion behind the #Uganda600 project was absolutely phenomenal.  I spent a day with Mohammed (one of the country managers) during my client visits to George (Ground nut and fish maker) and Marion (Mobile phone kiosk owner). One of the key challenges Marion was facing was buying her products in Uganda at a very expensive cost. Her current VC is working with her to find a suitable solution on how she can procure some of her goods such as mobile phones, laptops directly from the suppliers where she will have greater bargaining power. Both George and Marion were intirgued at how helpful their consultants were which had been a very different experience to when they had tried to seek business help locally. They were both amazed at how quickly they could implement new ideas and have an impact"

“If you see Sean , please thank him for me, he has completely changed my life, my business and my way of understanding how to do things. ” George

"...Being Ugandan and going back to my mother country to assist some of the business owners really is fulfilling and allows me to face new challenges as a consultant that I don’t necessarily come across in the United Kingdom. I also had the opportunity to attend day one of the training with Chrissy and Janine (London Business School research managers) with some of the Grow Movement team who seemed really keen to work with Consultants all around the world. I look forward to working with such an amazing team!"

Thank you Jana from the Grow Movement team for taking time from your holiday to visit #Uganda600 preparations. 

#Uganda600 in Dubai

Dr Benish with Grow CEO
Grow Movement London travelled to Dubai this month to meet with Dr Benish Chaudhry the Middle East Community Manager and Assistant Professor at the University of Modern Sciences.

Over the last year Dubai has become increasingly important as a source of talented multicultural business professionals for Grow Movement. Driven by Dr Benish with the support of London Business School Professor, Naufel Vilcassim, the team has expanded from 5 to over 35 volunteers coming from Spain, Australia, Pakistan and Lebanon.

Majid Hassan & Hadi Hazim with Grow CEO
For #Uganda600 Dr Benish is being supported with interviewing help from the existing VC network of Maham Aziz (Malawi VC), Glenn Harwood (Uganda VC), Jorge Castellote (Uganda VC). Together they are working to expand the network of business professionals supporting others across Africa with Majid Hassan, President of the Gulf States LBS Alumni Association and other LBS Alumni.

Meeting the Ugandan High Commissioner

Prof Joyce Chikafunda
Mark Neild, Chairman and Claire Jenkins CEO met with Her Excellency Joyce Chikafunda, the High Commissioner of Uganda to the UK. As a woman, Prof. Joyce Kikafunda has been a pioneer in many things. She was the first women to receive a first class degree in agriculture at Makere University  and was the only female professor in agriculture, food science and nutrition in all of Uganda. She was also the first woman in her district to be award a PhD.  

Being a professor she showed much interest in the academic paper Grow Movement is conducting with London Business School, Booth School of Business Chicago and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. With a wealth of knowledge in scientific research Her Excellency was impressed to see such academic rigour involved in a study on entrepreneurship. Grow Movement is looking forwards to Her Excellency joining a London networking meeting during  #Uganda600.

Eric Visits Uganda and the new #Uganda600 client managers!

Eric Rwanda Manager
2015 continues to be a very exciting year for Grow movement. Grow movement staff members, volunteers as well as researchers have been pulling resources together to make sure #UGANDA 600 Project becomes a success. Indeed, this is all we need to prove that there is a cost effective way to help fight against unemployment by simply bridging business skills gap. For new Client managers, the three months’’ standard settle in Period’’ is not granted. Training is the only learning time they have,

Why I flew to Uganda to join the training sessions
Over the last two weeks, i joined my colleagues, Judith and Mohammed in Kampala to take part in the Clients Managers training program.
As existing staff members, our role was to share our experience. We have been there before, we know what it takes. The training material was well designed, dominated by role plays and possible scenarios. We were in the training room as facilitators. Training sessions were more Participatory, many questions were raised particularly during Client management, Volunteers management sessions. Here are some forms of questions which came up more frequently-How have you been handling this situation?-What would you do in this situation?-Have you had a similar case before?-What is the usual Grow way of addressing this particular issue?

Client Managers role
I know you are all used to Country Managers; Client Managers were hired to do more less the same Job as the Country Managers do. However, Client Managers’ Job is slightly different. For example, Client recruitment, interviews and impact assessment are not part of the Agenda for them until after December.
This group of ten Client Managers, coming early July,  will be matched with 60 clients each .They will be tasked to Manage those projects and make sure twelve sessions are successfully delivered between July and December. Whether it requires going out at clients’ premises with a laptop and a dongle to facilitate a session, making a phone call to remind a client of the next session date, send a quick email on behalf of a client who hasn’t completed an assignment yet or is in a remote area with limited network access, they are going to be on top of the game in order to be able to complete sessions on time and avoid drop outs. The Good news is Grow movement is a family, as existing staff members; we will be there to help them be successful in very possible ways.

My impression of new Client Managers
I was very impressed with Client Managers’ enthusiasm. They are all talented, young people; seem to be picking up things with ease. In addition to that they have previous work experience ranging from sales, research project management, customer service and operations. For any project to be successful you don’t only need people, you need right people. With these energetic Client managers, I have no doubt that by December, projects will be successfully completed.

Congratulations to all new Client Managers-We wish them all the best in the new role!