The social enterprise catering for female travellers


She describes herself as just a typical millennial, but Dora Sun has already created an Edinburgh-based social enterprise empowering female travellers with a global community of 31,000 members.

The founder and director of GoWonder, Dora's background is in digital marketing. But during a gap year she spent on the road after graduating from Edinburgh University, she had a wake-up call.

"I met a girl (using another travel site) who was sexually assaulted by her host and received no help. I was absolutely furious at the lack of support and response by the site.

Something inside of me just snapped. I’ve always known I wanted to devote my working career to empower women, I just didn’t know how. What more could I ask for than empowering women through travel?

I am a typical millennial. Constantly plugged into social media and always keen to share how I believe the world should be."

A lot has changed since GoWonder’s concept was first put into an incubator in the San Francisco’s famous hi-tech Bay Area at the end of that year-long trip.

Now, 18 months later, GoWonder presents itself as an Edinburgh-based social enterprise focused on providing women worldwide with knowledge and support when they travel.

Through the use of a safe digital space where female members can share and discuss all related issues, its aim is to inspire and empower female travellers to believe in themselves, to go above and beyond and, well, explore the world.

The 31,000 "Wonderers" today speak more than 100 languages and come from all sorts of different backgrounds and age-groups.

Dora (below) says with a big smile: “It is incredible to see our community connecting this many people. The ability to connect so many like-minded people through social media is just: wow! We are just getting started – our goal is to hit 100,000 members by July!

The community is increasingly active. A passionate team of interns working remotely from all around the world are developing content and support.

For example: about to leave for a weekend getaway and you want to know more about where to eat or what to do? No problem, just post it and you can be sure someone – very often a local – will get back to you.

This week, in Edinburgh, GoWonder has been staging a five-day event with speaker including experienced travellers and entrepreneurs sharing their stories through a series of workshops and panels.

Both local and foreign participants have also had the chance to network with like-minded women passionate about travelling, and also learn more about what it means to be a female entrepreneur and a digital nomad.

Ironically, the digital entrepreneur that is China-born Dora – while a travel enthusiast – has put down roots in Edinburgh.

I came to Scotland when I was 11 for a summer holiday and I never left. Scotland is home. It is a magical place with so much history. And I am not just saying that because I am a Harry Potter nerd…

The GoWonder website is here.

The Facebook page is here.

The above article by Michela Siuni first published on positivelyscottish.scot in Mar, 2017.