TWC is a business that was created from the idea of mixing volunteering with traveling. Through their work, they are able to help communities all around the world and inspire young travelers to become change-makers. The projects that they start and carry out help achieve several of the SDG’s, but the ones that stand out the most in TWC are: developing sustainable communities, reducing inequalities, and creating partnerships to achieve the goals. According to the co-founder, Robert Elizondo, the SDG number 17 is the most important for TWC because their business model works by creating alliances with leaders around the world in order to create the projects.
Alejandra Dominguez Garza
Ana Sofia Martinez brunell
Valeria Lopez Chavez
Universidad de Monterrey
TWC is a travel agency that offers volunteer opportunities in Mexico and the world. Their business is the combination between volunteering and traveling. TWC was founded by Roberta Elizondo and Alejandro Rubio in the summer of 2018, with the intention of combining both of their passions, travel and serving, in order to reach out to communities all around the world. Their first project was with a small group of young adults that traveled to South East Asia to aid a small community in the Philippines. That first trip is how they gained popularity in Monterrey, and that created a ripple effect that enabled them to grow and plan new projects. Now, they are a larger business with more than 600 volunteers and community leaders around the world, and they continue to impact the world with more than 30 sustainable projects on five continents.
What TWC brings to the table is a different way of traveling. Each program they offer tackles a necessity in a community, whether it is implementing sexual education programs, preserving natural habitats, or building houses. Each and every project has a significant impact on the people that are being helped, and no project is created without the consent of the community. TWC does not create a problem in order to open a new travel destination, they listen to the locals so they can identify the real issues that are troubling them. As a result, they create projects that will actually benefit the communities in the short, medium and long term.
"I was the friend who invited you to mission trips, retreats, apostolates. I was the friend who was always raising money for campaigns. We all have a friend like that. And if you don't have one, then it's you."
- Roberta Elizondo, Co-founder of Travelers With Cause
Since Roberta was a young girl, she loved to serve her community. She did not stop there, she wanted to also help other people around the world. She wanted to have a positive impact, not only in Mexico, but also beyond national borders. Roberta is a woman that is passionate about learning from other cultures and loves connecting with people to know how she can be of service. TWC is born from that love of serving and wants to generate empathy through the experience of knowing new places, new cultures, and new traditions. The experiences that the founders, Roberta and Alejandro, enjoy the most are traveling and getting along with the people in the communities, and they wanted to share that joy with everyone. This business is meaningful to the founders because they know that it helps change lives, and their dream is that one day TWC will become the largest travel company with a cause in Latin America.
The short-term effects that the innovation that TWC presents are seen through the tangible projects that volunteers do when they go to the communities. These effects also go hand-in-hand with the long-term effects, because the work volunteers do during the time they are abroad creates sustainable development in the communities. TWC has one goal, that at one point they will no longer need to send volunteers to the same community. In other words, the main goal is that the community that they are helping no longer needs the support of volunteers to be sustainable. The evidence that proves that this business is having an impact is seen through the volunteers and community leaders that tell their testimonies about how it is to work with TWC. Through those testimonies, we can see how each community is doing better each and every time, to the point where they can achieve sufficiency. Additionally, all the work done is constantly updated on their official web page. TWC is a transparent business that has at the reach of everyone all the information regarding the progress that is being made in each cause.
The biggest benefit that TWC has received from their innovation is growth. Their mission is so inspiring that it has enabled the business to grow and offer more jobs as well as more projects to work on. The original team started with only the two founders and a plan to gather a group of travelers to go with them to help in a community. Now there is a team of ten people that manages operations in Mexico and that helps link the travelers with the projects around the world. TWC’s first partner with whom they were able to start this innovation was in the Philippines, and now they also support projects in Mexico, Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. People in Monterrey like what TWC is doing, and because of that, they want to travel with them. That positive response from clients has helped the business grow to this size in a matter of two years.
Speaking numbers, up until this day, TWC has had an impact in 31 countries, 17,000 people, and has sent over 600 travelers around the world. Overall, they have invested over 120,000 USD on the projects they work on, and they continue to grow the business while having an impact on both the communities and the travelers. Their approximate income in the last two years has been over 500,000 USD.
As the co-founder, Roberta Elizondo, mentioned to us, TWC measures the innovations’ impact on two axes - one being the communities and the other one being the travelers.
The impact that the business has in the communities is on a medium and long term. All their projects promote self-sustainability. Through this business, many projects have been launched in communities around the world, and each one tackles the specific needs of each area. Their projects range from giving health assistance, education, gender equality, community development, and conservation of animals. TWC Cause is for young travelers to go and participate in all the projects that they have, but they do not depend completely on the travelers for the completion of the project. TWC also has leaders in each location that make sure that progress is being made.
The other axis of TWC is the travelers. The business wants each and every traveler to have an experience where they can grow as human beings and become change makers in their own way. What TWC presents to the Mexican travelers is an opportunity to change the world and an inspiration to continue doing so in their local communities after their trip.
Roberta Elizondo, Founder
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Monterrey, Nuevo León, MX
Business Website: https://www.travelerswithcause.com/
Year Founded: 2018
Number of Employees: 2 to 10