At Turtle Up, founder Corinne Brion is pursuing a triple bottom line: people, the planet, and profit.
The social enterprise aims to preserve Ghana’s sea turtles via eco-trips for students.
Corinne is a recent grad of Entrepreneur Rising Academy, a 10-week business-building bootcamp powered by Parallax Advanced Research. She’s also a finalist in the 2023 Flyer Pitch Competition. We recently caught up with her to learn more about here journey.
LAUNCH DAYTON: INTRODUCE YOURSELF — WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY?
Corinne: Corinne Brion, UD faculty and founder of Turtle Up, a new nonprofit organization registered in Ohio. Turtle Up conserves and preserve
Ghana’s sea turtles, educate, and transform communities by organizing eco-trips for students to New Ningo Prampram, Ghana, home of the largest sea turtle hatchery in the country. At Turtle Up, we:
Preserve and protect Ghana’s sea turtles, which are threatened in Ghana and around the world. Ghana provides vital habitat for at least three species of sea turtle, all of which are in decline globally.
Organize eco-trips to promote economic development in an area where people are living to survive, not flourish, and locals are accustomed to subsistence living, one day at a time. Turtle Up is committed to donate all its excess income to sea turtle conservancy and preservation activities and to the community so that citizens can build the infrastructures that they need.
HOW DID YOUR COMPANY START?
Turtle Up started unofficially in the Fall of 2022 and officially in January 2023 because I wanted to find a sustainable approach to sea turtle conservancy, economic development, and people’s empowerment, both in Dayton and in New Ningo Prampram.
WHY THIS IDEA?
The largest sea turtle hatchery in Ghana is located in a hotel in New Ningo Prampram. Our Gen Z students are very concerned with the environment and the impact of humankind on the environment. Our American students also seek meaningful study aboard experiences that are grounded in cultural competency and have a genuine impact on the environment and the local people. Also, Turtle Up eco-trips are grounded in fair trade learning principles, in which the locals in Ghana are part of the design and implementation of the trips, from beginning to end. Turtle Up is concerned with the planet and its people. Our excess income will be redistributed to sea turtle conservation efforts and to the community so they can build the infrastructures they need, such as a health center and a school.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I have a gene in me.
THE LAUNCH DAYTON COMMUNITY VALUES ARE: 1. BE BOLD 2. ALL ARE WELCOME 3. PEOPLE FIRST 4. GIVE FIRST 5. REMOVE BARRIERS. HOW DO YOU EMBODY ONE OR MORE OF THESE VALUES?
Bold: to start something new and across oceans… and so thrilling! Anyone willing and wanting to help is welcome! I am all about giving to people who need it, and the New Ningo Prampram community needs it, but I want to do it in a sustainable way that will impact beyond my time on the planet. Turtle Up will create jobs and train locals as needed to grow.
WHAT IDENTITIES OR LIFE EXPERIENCES DO YOU BRING TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP THAT HELPED PREPARE YOU FOR THIS LIFESTYLE?
I teach intercultural competency courses, I have worked for six years in Ghana, and my family lives in New Ningo. I am determined, so passionate, and I have an international business background. And I love to receive feedback and love learning.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER YOU’VE FACED ON YOUR ENTREPRENEUR JOURNEY?
Starting up is hard, funds!
WHY DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO?
Helping people in Ghana is my calling.
HOW CAN THE LAUNCH DAYTON COMMUNITY SUPPORT YOU?
I am seeking board members, an attorney, an accountant. The community can also donate, spread the word about Turtle Up, or offer recommendations, feedback, connections.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER FELLOW OR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS?
Connect with Corinne online at turtleup.org or on social media @turtle_up_org
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