As of January 2024, wmnsWORK is in its third year and fifth cohort of entrepreneurs, having now supported more than 40 businesses from 14 different countries through the program. The next cohort will launch on 16 September 2024 (and applications are open here for the next 12-week business accelerator). All participants receive a free Professional membership to ATTA!
“Having the ATTA’s support as a sponsor is not only beneficial to the entrepreneurs in the program, but also serves the adventure community at large,” said Iris Serbanescu, wmnsWORK Founder. “When the adventure community has more diverse perspectives taking up space, we all win – we get better ideas, experience less complacency, and foster more innovation within this niche. The ATTA’s grassroots support, dating back almost two years now from the start of wmnsWORK, is having a tangible positive impact on the adventure travel ecosystem.”
In Their Words: Cohort 4
“For me, and for Pack Light Global Itineraries wmnsWORK has been a game changer. Before participating in this accelerator, I was unclear how to grow and scale my business. I received guidance from my mentor, so much support from cohort participants, and the weekly sessions exposed to me skills and best practices uniquely tailored to fit my needs as a woman entrepreneur in the travel industry. Through this program, wmnsWORK is creating equitable opportunities for a global community of women travel entrepreneurs, and I am grateful to be a part of this sisterhood.”
– Dawn Booker, Pack Light Global
“Good Trip had been operating for three years before I joined wmnsWORK. The business had achieved quite a bit of success, but we felt that we were always working from a reactive place. My goal with wmnsWORK was to discover strategies that would transition us into a more proactive approach within the company. Our North Star Goal kept me laser-focused, my mentor gave me insight and perspective on any mental blocks I was having, and having calls with one of the advisors about sales goals really helped us set our sights high for this year! But one of the most important exercises for me was figuring out our Unique Value Proposition – it really helped us define our product and then explain it in terms of the problem we’re solving for B2B and B2C markets. I learned so much from the program and felt incredible support from the leaders and participants. I was also paired with an incredible mentor who helped me show up as a better leader at my company’s yearly retreat. Regardless of their business stage, everyone stands to gain valuable insights from joining a group like this. Specifically for women or gender minorities in travel, wmnsWORK offers unparalleled benefits and opportunities for growth.
– Megan Kennedy, Good Trip Adventures
“The community that we built in our cohort was so uplifting and encouraging. I gained vast knowledge of some of the basic aspects of running a business (financial forecasts, marketing, sales, etc.) but also had a group of women to bounce ideas off of and be able to discuss our struggles as well as our wins and with continuous cheering from our peers. I feel a lot more confident in my company’s overall strategy and operations as well as having a community of supporters who continue to reach out and keep our relationships alive.”
-Sasha VanDenBosch, Crave Travel
Before wmnsWORK, I was struggling with marketing. Now my business has better visibility – I’ve created more networks that have actually translated into business. Every workshop I learned something new, whether it was strategy fundraising, marketing, building a team, etc. I, and my business, grew so much from this program!
– Phoebe Maina, Steri Tours Kenya
What is the wmnsWORK Tourism Business Accelerator?
wmnsWORK is an award-winning 12-week virtual, global accelerator program designed specifically for women and non-binary tourism entrepreneurs (tour operators, travel advisors, inbound operators, and hotels) during the early stages of their businesses. This is the most difficult time with the most barriers – self-doubt, fear, lack of knowledge, lack of industry network, and more. wmnsWORK’s program flattens the learning curve for both industry knowledge AND entrepreneurship while providing an expert-led space to embrace idea-sharing, community and self-compassion to help women+ build their businesses for sustainable success. The program was created to support foundational knowledge and essential mindset skills to navigate tourism entrepreneurship and was built on three pillars: Education, Mentorship and Community. With group sizes of maximum 20, it’s an intimate and personalized experience.
Based in Spain, Lina Jimenez is the founder of beconscioustravel, a travel coaching company helping travelers explore mindfully while making the most of their trip.
Clara Lojo is the founder of Clara Lojo, a company which designs tailor-made trips around the world for travellers looking for immersive experiences of extraordinary quality, acting as the bridge between them and destinations.
Phoebe Maina is the CEO of Steri Tours, a Kenya-based travel concierge company that provides local and international travelers with the resources and services they need to plan and enjoy a customized and impactful Kenyan holiday experience that brings them face-to-face with the destination’s landscapes, biodiversity and people.
Based in the U.S, Yasmin Yusuff is the CEO and founder of Our Vintage Earth, which is an online booking platform featuring experiences and goods that benefit our planet and its inhabitants.
Beth Lauren is the founder of Sangha, a company that applies the ancient practice of Ayurveda to create an inclusive, personalized approach to health and wellness, ensuring that everybody has access to products, classes, practitioners and information that fosters well-being and self-care. The Sangha Zen platform, an extension of the Sangha brand, will offer both a site and app that assists members in curating their individual wellness journeys. Users can choose the accommodations, restaurants, retailers, spas and local wellness practitioners that will ensure that their health and wellbeing isn’t compromised when they’re traveling.
Milka Rodriguez is the founder of Globetrotting Dominicana, an impact tourism company that utilizes ecotourism as the vehicle for education and immersive travel. They offer eco-dance tours and climate education and service-learning programs that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Dominican Republic.
Based in the U.S, Jalisa Whitley is the founder of BOOKED Trips, a tour operator that runs book-inspired travel experiences for curious and community-minded women, taking them from the page to the place in different cities around the world.
The next 12-week wmnsWORK program begins on 16 September 2024. Anyone interested in applying to take part of the next wmnsWORK cohort can apply here. All applicants, regardless of acceptance to the program, will receive a complimentary 20-minute one-on-one strategy session with Iris Serbanescu.
Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to the Member News section of AdventureTravelNews.