An online women’s business travel organisation has secured a cash injection of almost £500,000.
The investment into maiden-voyage.com has come from private investor and business angel Tony Rice who has joined the board as chairman.
Established eight years ago by Carolyn Pearson as the voice of the female business traveller and industry think tank, maiden-voyage.com has more than 8,000 members in 80 countries.
The organisation specialises in travel safety and duty of care. It recommends female friendly hotels, accredits business travel providers and ‘travel aware’ employers, provides female traveller safety training and produces industry research, driving best-practice.
Pearson, who led technology teams at easyJet, BBC, ITV, KLM and Sony Music established the site because she was frustrated with the lack of opportunities for women to explore the cities they were travelling to on business and to connect with other female travellers.
Rice, former chief executive of telecoms company Cable & Wireless, said: “I got involved in maiden-voyage.com two years ago when Carolyn and I were speaking at an event at Cranfield School of Management and subsequently stayed in touch.
“I acted as a mentor to Carolyn as she developed the business concept and model.
“When she was looking for investment to accelerate the growth of the business I was delighted to participate as Carolyn is a very dynamic and creative entrepreneur and maiden-voyage.com offers a capability which is not only unique but also beneficial and needed by female travellers, helping employers and travel industry players to fulfil their duty of care to their female managers and staff.”
Pearson, who recently joined the Global Business Travel Association risk committee representing women and LGTB travellers, said: “I’m delighted to have Tony on board. He brings a wealth of knowledge with him across many different sectors and his particular skill in growing and scaling businesses will undoubtedly take us to the next level.
“His skills and knowledge are complimentary to mine and the investment will be used to replace our predominantly freelance staff base with industry heavyweights, revamp our technology to increase growth and member engagement and convert our classroom training modules to elearning to that we can reach a wider global audience.”