Empowering African Entrepreneurs

Dr. Karin Stumpf, Managing Director of Acrasio, is being interviewed on our social engagement and on why she supports the initiative Grow Movement. She is member of the board and is also a volunteer consultant to African entrepreneurs.

IM: What is so special about Grow Movement?

Karin: Grow Movement supports businesses in some of the poorest countries in Africa. The entrepreneurs are being empowered through virtual consultancy. This enables them to create new jobs and strengthens the local economies. Volunteers are in regular contact with them over a period of 6 months. The consultants share their experience, listen to the specific issues and analyse the entrepreneur’s problems. Each project creates an average of two new jobs and increases the profit by 25%.

IM: Can you give us examples of businesses supported by Grow Movement?

Karin: Generally, the business are small or even micro-entrepreneurs. In Africa you seldom become an entrepreneur by choice, but more often out of necessity. The individuals then become poultry farmer, backers or tailors.

IM: Do you support the enterprises financially?

Karin: The entrepreneurs are only being supported through knowledge and experience. Each project provides new skills, is motivating and generates new business ideas. More often better cash management and improved marketing makes the businesses more successful. But Grow Movement doesn’t provide any money to the entrepreneurs.

Dr. Karin Stumpf with Orator, who trades organic honey and provides a livelihood for 500 farmers.

Virtual consultancy of African entrepreneurs to alleviate poverty. Support Grow Movement:

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IM: Why do you find this approach more effective than money donations?

Karin: One of my client once said: “what you have given to me, cannot be taken away from me. On the contrary, I would like to give what I have received for free to others.” Next to that we are not creating dependency, but are showing options to be independent and self-sufficient.

IM: In which countries does Grow Movement operate?

Karin: Grow works in some of the poorest country in the world: Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi. Despite the poverty the infrastructure is reliable. And while the youth unemployment is around 80%, trade and economy can be considered as stable. This is important as the African business people need to be contacted via modern telecommunication media (Skype or WhatsApp) and should be able to focus on their business rather than their personal safety.

IM: How can the initiative be supported?

Karin: The model is very lean, as no money or goods is being handed over. But Grow has some local employees. The client managers help recruit local entrepreneurs, support through communication problems. They also conduct impact analysis at the end of each project to measure success. The local teams are being financed by donations. If you wish to support the cause: until the end of January 2017 all contributions will be doubled! https://mydonate.bt.com/events/doubleup

IM: Thank you for the interview.

Dan in front of his shop, which finally is profitable thanks to better stock management.

Grow is a UK registered charity. To support the cause click bellows button:

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