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18 November, 2020 - 11:59 By Tony Quested

Lonely Planet honours Footprint Cafes for transforming business travel

Footprint Cafe

Cambridge-born Footprint Cafes has won a Lonely Planet award for blazing a novel approach to business travel while boosting revenue from the industry on behalf of charity in Cambodia.

Lonely Planet says the Footprint Cafes paradigm is reimagining and transforming concepts of business travel.

For the first time, this year’s list spotlights not only places, but also people and communities. Footprint Cafes, graduate of the Cambridge Social Ventures programme run by Cambridge Judge Business School, has been singled out as one of the most transformational enterprises. 

Footprint Cafes aims to make tourist dollars work for local communities through it’s 3P’s mission of People, Planet, Profit. Providing excellent employment conditions for its employees; doing all that it can to protect the environment and donating 100 per cent of its profits back to the local community for educational and entrepreneurial projects. 

Footprint Cafes founder and CEO Georgina Hemmingway, said the venture was blossoming. She said: “Like Lonely Planet, Footprint is passionate about making tourism a force for good. Through our 3P’s mission of People, Planet, Profit we aim to give our teams and their communities the chance to impact their future positively. 

“We’re very grateful for Lonely Planet’s award, it’s an absolute honour. The world is changing and this is especially true in the world of travel. It’s important to highlight that there are different business models out there.”
Serial life science entrepreneur and social enterprise champion Dr Darrin Disley feels the Footprint Cafes business model will prove a template for similar ventures around the world.

He said: “We’re entering a new era where new ideas and business models are needed for a brighter future. It was Footprint’t vision for the future which grabbed my attention, one which I was happy to back both financially and personally. Lonely Planet’s award means a lot to us.

“The Footprint team have been working hard over the last four years in Cambodia, building an excellent café with a good reputation, generating grant money for community projects and building our enterprise centre in Siem Reap to help other local social enterprises become a reality. 

“All this while our team have individually worked on their own dreams,  studying, entering industry competitions and starting their own businesses. We’re very proud of their work and we’re looking forward to doing more of the same in our new café in Koh Phangan, Thailand.”

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