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Faculty and students from three universities around the world travelled to Kenya in June 2015 to participate in a 10-day experience to learn the value of social enterprise in transforming the life chances of those who face major challenges.

The TIPSE-supported visit was designed to show how an adventure travel company, Adventure Alternative, is able to work through its charitable trust, Moving Mountains, to provide healthcare and educational services to the villages in which its conventional tours operate and also assist, fund and coach micro businesses. The trip was organised by Roberto Daniele, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Oxford Brookes University and a founder member of TIPSE.

The group visited different community-based projects established by the Moving Mountains Trust, a charitable arm of Adventure Alternative. These included an eco-tourism initiative as well as schools and clinics that benefit the community.

Students also visited the Blueline Hotel in Naro Moru – an independent hotel that was once struggling, which with the assistance of Adventure Alternative is now a viable business that employs local people. Students reviewed its business practices and offered advice on business development and revenue generation.

Jackie Tran, MSc International Hospitality, Events and Tourism Management student at Oxford Brookes said: ‘No words can describe the learning experience that I’ve had on this trip. It’s been so powerful to get new perspectives on hospitality and tourism, to meet new people and learn about their lives and culture.’

As well as their formal learning experiences, the students travelled through breath-taking landscapes and came close to wildlife through a one day safari to Lake Naivasha.

Organiser of the trip and Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Oxford Brookes, Roberto Daniele, said: “It’s an extraordinary experience for students and staff and every year they come back transformed. I just want them to see that there are alternative models of hospitality and tourism development that are both impressive and benefit communities. Every year there are tears all around when we have to leave – it gets emotional!”

The next trip on Exploring Social Enterprise in Kenya is in January 2016 – read our in-depth itinerary and bookings information or contact Roberto Daniele: rdaniele@brookes.ac.uk.

To view a gallery of photos from this trip, follow this link.