SUITCASE Group - Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Company: SUITCASE Group, London, United Kingdom
Company Description: SUITCASE is the world’s first multi-media travel and fashion magazine targeting readers with a global mindset. In essence, SUITCASE exists to change the way people travel. Trading underwhelming tourist cliches to suit the eclectic and adventurous appetite of a generation of creatives, SUITCASE is re-imagining the role of the travel magazine, as a bridge between cultures around the world.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Nomination Title: Serena Guen, Founder
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Serena founded SUITCASE Magazine whilst stillat NYU, driven in hope of opening up the world to people. Aged 22, she became the youngest magazine proprietor ever, forming a ‘travel bible’ (Topshop). On a macro-level, she believes that cultural understanding can solve many of the world's problems. Through SUITCASE, she hopes to see travel become a vehicle for development and conservation worldwide.
Throughout 2016, SUITCASE Magazine transgressed the traditional realms of print and iPad publication. SUITCASE co-hosted a dinner with Away luggage, illustrating their latest issue theme; Generated exclusive video content, adding sound and motion to still pages; Via optimised print content; in interactive guides, integrated Google Maps, shoppable content, in-app browser and in-app subscriptions; The multi-media brand breathes life as a sensory experience.
A sensory experience that brands, hotels and tourism boards seek to replicate. A desire out of which SUITCASE Media has grown, under the over-arching SUITCASE group. Launched in January, the content marketing and design agency harnesses SUITCASE's innate creativity to aid brands in their content, inspiring innovative travel media.
Since launching, SUITCASE Media has collaborated with multi-national hotel group Citizen M, in addition to Belmond, a global collection of hotels, trains and river cruises, including the Orient Express. This involved website and blog editorial, design consultancy and social media curation. Further to a series of printed city guides for hotel rooms, the construction of an interactive online city guide software and upcoming projects.
Meanwhile, SUITCASE Magazine began scaling. Readership grew to 184,000 a month (excluding social media) and in digital form, featured in the ‘What’s Hot’ section of the App Store worldwide. SUITCASE was the No.1 Top Grossing Newsstand app in Travel & Regional in the App Store. It made the ‘TOP 5 In Travel’ in the UK app store and ‘TOP 20’ In the US app store.
During 2016, SUITCASE showcased world design, embracing all cultures, races, ages and art forms. This saw Serena’s publication winning Magazine of the Year and Travel Magazine of the Year at the Digital Magazine Awards 2016. SUITCASE’s visual appeal translated into a 42% sales increase and Flight Centre’s Travel Publication of the Year award 2017. SUITCASE Magazine launched bespoke advertising solutions, communicating to an engaged audience via advertorials, films, contract publishing and events. Recent clients include tourism boards (Philippines, Texas, Vegas, Singapore etc.), hotels (Banyan Tree, Anantara, Hotel Americano etc.) and leading brands such as Rolex and Nike.
In autumn 2016, SUITCASE Magazine partnered with Rolex to present personalised city guides. Travellers select their dates and interests to form a tailored itinerary, saving them time on their travels. SUITCASE Magazine hosted ‘The Taipei Exchange’, connecting UK, US and Taiwanese entrepreneurs, to share ideas. In print, SUITCASE featured grassroots projects in Accra, Ghana. Worldreader, an initiative to provide every child access to reading; an eco-lodge to nurture conscious travelling; and AAKS, an ecologically-harvested raffia bags firm, giving locals sustainable employment, whilst preserving indigenous crafts.
Serena marries commercial success with a desire to do good. Founding the #CookForSyria campaign for UNICEF whilst juggling her world-wide fashion and travel publication, SUITCASE, a platform for sharing and understanding cultural experiences, Guen pioneers for mindful entrepreneurialism.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):
Named the “Mark Zuckerberg of publishing” by Bloomberg and one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in media for Europe, multi-national Serena founded SUITCASE Magazine remotely while in her third year at New York University. She was named one of 25 under 25 most influential Londoners by the Evening Standard and is often called upon for her expertise in travel by outlets such as CNBC. In 2014 she won a Woman of the Future Award for media and in 2016 was shortlisted for Young Travel Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Alongside her work at SUITCASE, she is also a founding member of Unicef’s NEXTGeneration London and co-founded the worldwide initiative #CookForSyria.