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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Almi Företagspartner case study: Handiscover (Sweden), Hospitality

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Handiscover is the first community-based holiday accommodation-booking website dedicated to people with physical disabilities. At the core of Handiscover lies a unique classification system, which allows users to select accommodations based on their level of physical disability.

The idea to create the travel portal Handiscover came to Sébastien Archambeaud, CEO and founder of the company, as a result of his own experience and the difficulties he faced when travelling. His son suffers from a muscular disease that affects his ability to walk, meaning that he is often in need of wheelchair facilities. Over the years, when Sebastien was travelling with his family, he became accustomed to the difficulties of finding accessible accommodation to suit his son’s needs. Very often, there was no expertise on essential requirements concerning accessibility, and despite thorough preliminary research to find the right accommodation, Sébastien still faced problems in situ. “People with mobility issues face many challenges when travelling and reducing these logistical hurdles is what motivated me to create Handiscover. Over 10% of the population are affected by physical disabilities…” says Sébastien.

Taking matters into his own hands, he set up Handiscover, an accommodation booking website for people with physical disabilities. The booking system enables users to identify their level of mobility and then receive accommodation proposals corresponding to their accessibility needs.

In his efforts to take the project forward, Sébastien had to obtain financing in order to implement much-needed technical improvements to his secure and easy-to-use booking system and also to develop his marketing strategy. With the backing of EIF, Almi Företagspartner provided an EU-guaranteed loan under the Investment Plan for Europe, the EU initiative aiming at generating new investments in Europe through the support of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Thanks to Sébastien’s innovative idea, Handiscover is opening up the world to people with physical disabilities. Currently, the website offers a variety of destinations such as Spain, the UK, Croatia, Cyprus and Sweden, but looking ahead, the plan is to widen the offer throughout Europe, hiring four more employees in the process.

Company: Handiscover A.B. (Sweden)

Type of business: Hospitality

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG, EFSI

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Sweden, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/se

 

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