Ethos-Spirit of the Community: Trekking towards Social and Sustainable Venturing
Ethos - Spirit of the Community (Ethos), a sustainable tourism company in Sa Pa, Vietnam, existed to support a wide variety of environmental and social initiatives that benefited members of local, ethnic minority groups. In early 2019, the organization's founders were working with 22 female tour guides and 260 ethnic minority host families to offer sustainable and socially responsible treks in the region. However, their ability to continue was in jeopardy due to changing regulations that would affect the working status of the company's local trekking guides. Addressing this change was essential because the business depended on the local women who led Ethos tour groups, and the new requirement could mean Ethos's underlying business model could fall apart, undermining its ability to support related environmental and social initiatives. How could the founders ensure that Ethos would survive as a long-term venture that was able to make a difference in the lives of the local people while also accomplishing their own long-term goals?