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Empowering entrepreneurs in Africa

364. Jeremy Roebuck

Jeremy has been a driving force in Grow Movement in Scotland, recruiting over a hundred consultants to change lives across Africa by volunteering their professional skills.

Grow Movement began in 2010  with the aim of unlocking the potential of entrepreneurs in Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi by matching them with volunteer consultants from 61 countries around the world including the UK, USA, wider Europe and Africa. Over 1000 volunteer consultants and 1000 entrepreneurs have been matched through its work creating hundreds of new jobs and increasing profitability of its enterprises. Jeremy joined in 2014 and soon became instrumental in helping Grow Movement expand its operations. He has secured vital funding as well as providing volunteering consultation services himself.

Jeremy leads on volunteer expansion in Scotland and enhances the Scotland – Malawi relationship. He has personally secured £60,000 of funding for the charity from the Scottish Government, on his own initiative- which proved enough to secure consulting programmes for 450 entrepreneurs in Malawi.

Jeremy has used his own initiative to secure vital partnerships with several universities and academies including the Open University, the Association of MBAs and the Institute of Leadership and Management amongst others.  These partnerships have facilitated a research paper called Uganda 600 being run by Stanford Business School, London Business School and Chicago Booth Business School to independently evaluate the impact of Grow Movement’s virtual consultancy on entrepreneurial projects in Uganda.

Since joining Jeremy has personally recruited over 100 new volunteers and acted as mentor to newer Grow Country Managers overseas. His efforts have been noted.  In 2015 he was nominated for the Third Sector Awards in the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ category  and he received the ‘Outstanding contribution to society’ Open University Alumni of the Year award.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:  

“By sharing his professional skills and inspiring others to do the same, Jeremy is supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs across the globe.  By empowering them to grow their ideas and create successful businesses he not only enables them to change their lives, but to create jobs and change lives throughout their communities. Jeremy is thoroughly deserving of this Points of Light award.”

Jeremy said:

“I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of Grow Movement. Grow Movement uses an international network of highly qualified business consultants to help micro businesses in some of the poorest parts of the world. Because the consultancy sessions are all conducted through Skype & email I’m able to help Grow Movement from my home office. It’s enormously satisfying and I have learned much through Grow movement volunteering.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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