His project: e-commerce website NUSApack, a brand new start-up launched for backpackers who want to have a positive social impact during their travels, starting with their equipment. Each purchase contributes to financing a local, social and community-based project: 5% of the sales are donated to KIVA, the micro-loan platform to help small entrepreneurs develop their projects!
His objective: maximize the social impact of his company throughout its development, and raise awareness for responsible travel among backpackers.
Benjamin, 25, is the founder of social and solidarity-based company NUSApack: fresh out of business school, he launched this project which his close to his heart. Benjamin loves backpacking and is very interested in the social and solidary economy. From the start, it is critical for him to maximize his social impact, despite his company’s small size: micro-loans seemed to him like the ideal smart solution to help micro-entrepreneurs, throughout the world, develop their projects.
The company is working on different axes to give meaning to its work:
- Offer backpackers convenient and smartly-designed products to ease their travels. Benjamin uses his own experience as well as feedback from other travelers, and has selected some vital accessories. In the store, you can find hammocks, water-filtering bottles, t-shirts to communicate despite the language barrier, and most importantly products created by NUSApack, such as the GILI beach bag or the VALPO organizer bag (check out the video presentations for GILI and VALPO). For now, these two products are only available for pre-order, but they will be in stock as soon as December! On the store’s page, you can already see pictures of the latest prototypes, identical to the final products, save for the brand markings.
- Have a strong social aspect, by helping micro-entrepreneurs in some of the poorest regions in the world. Benjamin selects the projects he wants to support through the micro-loan platform KIVA, and bear in mind that for each product purchased, 5% of the sales go to one of these projects! These projects are grouped under the NUSApack Community. You don’t necessarily have to purchase something to participate, you can also contribute directly on the platform! Why use micro-loans? Because, what is loaned today will be reimbursed tomorrow, and can be loaned again the day after to a new entrepreneur. Among the projects being supported, there is a grouping of Guatemalan woman who make clothes.
- Promote responsible tourism, by raising awareness among backpackers and giving them the desire and the opportunity to get involved, using their skills, in small-scale local projects. This is notably the case with the NUSAswap Following the principle of win-win exchanges, you can help a small company, sometimes by just giving a few hours of your time, getting some valuabe life experience in the process! Launched at Bali’s Startup Weekend, NUSAswap is still in construction. Don’t hesitate to contact Benjamin if you’re interested in the project!
- Give good tips to travelers, off the beaten path! These are the NUSAspots, to dive right into the heart of the country you’re visiting, far from the typical touristy places, to get even more special memories. We actually have to send him some of our own spots during our journey!
So, are you ready to hit the road?