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2019 Explore Start-up Fund winners

Each year we ask our partners around the world for business ideas, or to recommend a start-up company that needs an extra boost to get them going. Once again, they showed their community spirit with loads of excellent nominations. Two winners were selected.
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Start-up Fund runner-up - Guangxi Sanjiang Dong Village, China

Nominated by Zhao Ping, Explore's ground agent in China, the villagers of Sanjiang Dong village would like to see their traditional weaving methods continue, creating head cloths using looms. The £500 fund will contribute towards buying more cotton and fixing their loom, enabling them to continue with their craft and build a sustainable business.
The funds will help to preserve these traditions and provide the women of the village with an income to help them maintain their independence; the majority of the women in the workshop are over 60 and therefore have no other source of income. This will help them support the local village's economy and reach beyond the recipients by providing inspiration, skills training and job opportunities. Travellers that join our China on a Shoestring tour will be able to see the fruits of their labours for themselves and appreciate the incredible hard work and skills that these women have honed over years.

Start-up Fund winner - Pellumbas village, Albania

This year's overall winner for the Explore Start-up Fund is the Guest House Museum in Pellumbas village, nominated by Outdoor Albania, Explore's ground agent in Albania. The Guest House Museum will be run by the Duqi family from an old abandoned village house that they will renovate. The idea is to create accommodation that will showcase traditional Albanian life, both through the ability for visitors to stay there (including home-cooked meals and demonstrations of the farming tools) and the exhibits in the museum.
The Outdoor Albania team will be helping the Duqi family with the initial running of the business to get them set up. The £1,000 winnings will help the Duqis to invest in a wind-powered generator and solar power system. The cultural centre is hoped to be open to visitors by April 2020. While the family will have a very busy winter ahead of them, the money will help ensure that they can get the tools and materials they need to get the project underway quickly to ensure the best chance of opening on time and bringing in more visitors to the village. 

 

Responsible travel with Explore

To find out more about our Start-up Fund and its previous winners, along with other responsible travel initiatives run by Explore, visit our Sustainability pages.
Sustainability AT EXPLORE
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