Hanover, 3 January 2020

Young founders with a purpose – Travel Tech 4 Good announces winners of start-up initiative in Cairo

  • Halla Travel, a digital platform working with small travel agencies to develop the domestic travel market, and Blue Odysea, a platform for sustainable and regenerative traveling, were awarded with a prize by an international jury
  • The initiative by TUI Care Foundation and enpact empowered five innovative founders in Egypt to help boost the sustainable development of Egypt’s tourism sector

Halla Travel and Blue Odysea are the winners of the “Travel Tech 4 Good” start-up initiative for the tourism sector in Egypt. It was launched jointly by the TUI Care Foundation and Berlin-based NGO enpact. The winners receive a cash reward for the best presentations and most progress made throughout the initiative. Halla Travel is an online-platform working with small agencies across Egypt, providing them with better access to customers. This creates jobs whilst strengthening little-known destinations in Egypt. Blue Odysea develops an online-platform for sustainable and regenerative travel experiences. Holiday experiences such as free diving or yoga retreats offer great opportunities for growth and further diversify Egypt’s holiday experiences. 

By announcing the winners after three months, the TUI Care Foundation and enpact successfully finish the Egyptian chapter of the initiative. The partnership fosters entrepreneurship and empowers young founders with access to support services and expertise, in order to boost small businesses in the field of travel and tourism with a focus on social impact and sustainability.

Amir Abdallah, Founder and CEO of Halla Travel, summarizes: “The initiative helped me to understand and increase the positive impact that my idea has on people’s lives. It has been an incredible experience to be mentored by passionate and professional people from different countries and backgrounds. I will never forget where my journey started.”

In Egypt, it is not easy to setup a business for a lack of accessible expertise, finance and support services that help founders take their business ideas to the next level. Over the last three months, the TUI Care Foundation in partnership with enpact, supported by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations, implemented this mentoring programme to boost visionary entrepreneurs in Egypt’s tourism sector. A demonstration day showcasing the founder’s presentations took place in December in Startup Haus Cairo in front of an international jury.

Dagmar Wöhrl, Member of TUI Care Foundation’s Board of Trustees, says: „Entrepreneurs have always been the backbone of social change, sustainable development and innovation. It’s been inspiring to see how much personal and professional progress these visionary Egyptians made in only 12 weeks. Without the dedication and support of our partners, enpact and UNWTO, and the voluntary experts of TUI, this would not have been as successful.”

During the previous 12 weeks, the purpose driven founders were supported by numerous mentors, experts and coaches, who boosted their growth both personally and professionally. More than 95 mentoring and coaching sessions took place, of which numerous were done by experts working with TUI, the world’s leading tourism business. 16 voluntary TUI experts coming from 6 different European countries were engaged in the programme. The sessions taught state of the art concepts of entrepreneurial thinking. Among them, social impact, business modelling, agile working, digital marketing and customer validation. The learning experience is at the heart of the programme, which built a meaningful intercultural bridge between Egypt and Europe.

As a recognition for the best presentations held and most progress made during this initiative, a cash reward is issued to both Halla Travel and Blue Odysea. On top of that, supported by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), Halla Travel is invited to attend the 2nd Global Start-up Competition of UNWTO, which takes place as part of the International Tourism Fair in Madrid in early 2020.

Furthermore, the Travel Tech 4 Good initiative is expanding to East Africa in early 2020. The call for participation will be published soon.

About TUI Care Foundation

Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the TUI Care Foundation supports and initiates partnerships and projects, which create new opportunities for the young generation and contribute to thriving communities all over the world. Connecting holidaymakers to good causes, the TUI Care Foundation fosters education and training initiatives to open up new opportunities and perspectives for young people, the protection of the natural environment in holiday destinations and sustainable livelihoods in thriving destinations where local communities can benefit even more from tourism. TUI Care Foundation works global and acts local – it builds on strong partnerships with local and international organisations to create meaningful and long lasting impact. The charitable foundation values transparency and the efficient use of funds. Therefore 100% of the donations go to destination programmes with all administration costs of the foundation covered by TUI. TUI Care Foundation was founded by TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, and is based in the Netherlands.

About enpact e.V.

enpact is a Berlin-headquartered non-profit organisation empowering entrepreneurship, ecosystems and international cooperation. The organisation was founded in 2013 with the goal of promoting entrepreneurship in emerging and developing countries. enpact supports young entrepreneurs and ecosystem actors from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America through a variety of products clustered in three business areas: entrepreneurial support, organisational support and data & research. Among its flagship products are mentoring programmes, capacity building programmes, coworking spaces, delegations, data-based consulting, as well as analysing and evaluating the founder-friendliness of cities. At present, enpact’s network consists of 2500+ startups, 600+ mentors and experts and 150+ support organisations in 30+ countries. 10000+ jobs have been created as a direct result of enpact’s work with startups.

The Empowering Entrepreneurship Initiative was developed by the non-profit organisation enpact e.V. and was launched in 2020 with two programmes designed to deliver economic relief from the COVID-19 crisis. The Tourism Recovery Programme is the third standalone programme of the initiative, aimed to support the resilience and recovery of businesses in the tourism sector. The COVID-19 Relief Programme is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is implemented together with enpact and TUI Care Foundation.