Meet Carole

Welcome to Small Matters and thank you for taking the time to meet me today. Small Matters aims to help micro and small entrepreneurs expand their markets to earn more money from tourism. Whilst I believe that “small is beautiful” I also think that “big is not a necessary evil”, but rather an opportunity. In my job, I act as intermediary between both, for the benefit of both too. So, let me tell you a bit about myself and if you like what you read, contact me so we can start working together.

 

Carole FavreSmall is in my genes

I am 154cm, and descend from a line of equally small farmers and entrepreneurs. I was raised to get things done efficiently and to take pride in “l’amour du travail bien fait” (“the love of a job well done”), which means I have very high work ethics and believe in quality, not quantity.

 

Coming from a small town in the Loire Valley has not “reduced” me to seeing the world in miniature; quite the contrary. Whilst I cherish many aspects of my heritage (food being of the utmost importance), my insatiable curiosity led me to start exploring the world as soon as I was legally allowed to travel on my own.

 

Aged 22, I started the adventure of a life time by moving to Lithuania, one year after the collapse of the USSR. I was the first French female to reach the country independently and willingly. Nicknamed “Mother Teresa” because I was paid a local salary for my teaching job (£5 per month), I soon learned about the realities of living in transitional economies, savouring every opportunity I was given to eat anything else than beetroot, cabbage and Russian cornflakes! Within 9 months I met 3 Belgian brothers and a French entrepreneur who were opening the first self-service supermarkets in the country. With a degree in retail and fluent Lithuanian, I jumped on the occasion to help. Within three months I was managing their largest store. IKI Supermarkets are now one of the ten biggest companies in the Baltic States.

 

Four years later I moved back to the UK for love, and started a new career in tourism, working my way up in a travel agency specialising in youth and adventure travel. Reaching a stage in my life where I decided I wanted to ‘make a difference’ I decided to build on my knowledge of the tourism industry to teach and help young adults prepare for employment. I taught Travel and Tourism for 12 years, to students aged over 16, adapting to their varying abilities, whilst managing and developing a range of courses, including degree programmes. I also became a Teaching Observer, grading colleagues on their ability to ensure their students learned (and not only listened).

 

In the winter of 2008, I set off to Ethiopia for my Christmas holidays. As part of my break, I spent 3 days trekking with TESFA, an organisation specialising in community-based tourism; this experience changed my life and was the catalyst to starting an MSc in Responsible Tourism, and to eventually leaving my teaching job.

 

At 40, it was time to start a new adventure and to once more progress to a new stage in my life; I decided to take another risk and to set up my own business as a sustainable / responsible tourism consultant specialising in market access for small entrepreneurs.

I have now 2 goals in my life:

1. Assist small and micro private sector enterprises in gaining market access through responsible practices
2. Support communities in improving their livelihoods through tourism, education and training that empowers

 

And for those who still want to know a bit more about me:

The countries I have had the pleasure to visit:

Africa

Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Americas

Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala and USA.

Asia

Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Australasia

Australia and New Zealand.

Europe

Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Ukraine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThings that make me laugh:

Dry and pertinent humour, “Outnumbered” (the best ever TV programme in history) and the panel of “Just a Minute” on BBC Radio 4, who are never afraid of making fools of themselves.

Things that really touch me:

Young people who fulfil their intellectual potential and do not settle for easy, people lacking in confidence who find the courage to break away even when it’s hard; birthday or Christmas present chosen and wrapped with care.

Things that really annoy me:

Unfairness in all its forms, people with little self-awareness that bang doors or shout on their mobile phone in public spaces, or who thinks that money commands superiority (I judge people on their actions or the size of their brain, not on the thickness of their wallet).

Movie recommendations for an intellectual evening:

Elephant Man, Festen, the Idiots and Amour.

And for something lighter, my favourite book of the year:

“The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson – the perfect cocktail of intelligence and humour.

 

Carole

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