Startup Story: TravelGiver – for socially conscious travellers

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www.TravelGiver.com

//projecteve.com

Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
TravelGiver.com – the new website for the socially conscious traveller who wants to give while they travel, at no extra cost.

My website’s mission is to enable travellers to give while they travel, without paying any extra, and have truly transformational travel experiences.

TravelGiver.com allows travellers to research projects (grass root initiatives set up by non-governmental organisations to assist communities in need) on one website, share experiences, make travel bookings and at no extra cost, give to projects of their choice.

At TravelGiver.com, consumers can simultaneously book travel through leading Online Travel Agents and donate to worthwhile projects.

TravelGiver.com can be used to book flights, accommodation, packages, car rental, cruises insurance and travel guides. Booking partners include Expedia, Zuji, booking.com, Best Western, Accor, Tingo, HostelWorld, Allianz and Lonely Planet. Users can choose who they book with and who they give to.

You can book on TravelGiver if you are going somewhere overnight, or going overseas. While you do not need to be travelling to the project destination to give to it, if you are going there, TravelGiver.com can be used to research projects that can be visited and what one can take.

The business model is easy. Each booking made when you start on TravelGiver earns a commission. Half this commission is donated to the selected project when the travel is completed, the other half is retained by the website.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
Life was good – married, daughter, great job – but I strongly felt the need to more. Adopted from Vietnam, surrounded by a loving family and friends, I feel very lucky to have had so many opportunities in life. By way of giving back, I launched TravelGiver with four clear objectives:
• To raise awareness of the amazing projects that are out there – give them a voice and help them to raise funds
• To provide a forum for people to research projects and destinations, share their experiences and contribute to human change.
• To use technology to really enrich peoples lives
• To develop a business model that is sustainable, utilises my experience, knowledge and networks and, change the lives of many.

While there are many travel, charity, donation and review sites, TravelGiver is different as it provides all of these functions on one platform. What is unique about TravelGiver is it enables users to give, without paying more. On other sites, users are required to dip into their own pockets but on TravelGiver, this is not required. It is a win win for everyone, a great way where the profit benefits many.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
Research indicates that there is a growing group of consumers who want to do more to help others but do not know how, where to start, have the spare time or the extra money. TravelGiver allows travellers to do this, they can give while they travel – it is easy, free and they get to give, while enjoying their own holiday.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
While marketing is my background, the biggest challenge is getting the word out there and then, staying top of mind so that the market remembers you when they go to make a travel booking.

Now that there is lots of content on the site (250+ projects), I have only just started to focus on the marketing. I have used social media (facebook, Twitter and Pinterest), PR (media releases and radio) and I have just started to focus on SEO.

The TravelGiver site has social media sharing functions integrated so I will be encouraging users to share when they give and inspire their peers to do the same.

I will also be encouraging the participating projects to promote TravelGiver to their own networks, a lot of them already have significant, established and loyal databases and followings.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
Real

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Project Eve is a source of inspiration for me. I am always amazed to read about what people are doing and achieving. Also as a start up, Project Eve provides lots of tools that either confirm I am on the right path, or provide insight into how I can do things better.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
It is not about perfection, it is about continual little corrections. This outlook has allowed me to make decisions faster and be more proactive. Get your service out there and then listen to customers. It is through listening to their feedback, that your service will become stronger and stronger.

Company: TravelGiver Pty Ltd

Website: http://www.travelgiver.com

Follow my organization on social media here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/TravelGiver/559101407475492
http://www.pinterest.com/travelgiver/ , http://blog.travelgiver.com , http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kimi-anderson/3/323/811
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