Backed by 60+ years of expertise, JENZA is a new youth-led travel brand designed for a generation that craves adventure – but no longer has the luxury of exploring without earning or the appetite for ‘fast’ travel.
JENZA is the joint venture of BUNAC and USIT – two leaders of the working holiday world founded by students in the 50s and 60s. Launching first in Australia and New Zealand in February 2023, JENZA responds to two seismic shifts for young people today: a postpandemic world where travel had previously been denied to them, and a global cost of living crisis that’s pushed financial and job security to the forefront of their thinking.
Vicki Cunningham, CEO said, “It quickly became apparent that the world didn’t need another work and travel brand – it needed a more authentic and hard-working one. That stopped second guessing what Gen Z wanted and put youth opinions at the heart of its decision-making. It’s all in our logo – You Shaped Travel.”
Shaped by Gen Z
At the start of the planning process, Global Head of Marketing Lucy Lynch recruited a Youth Advisory Panel of 17-25 year olds. “YAP work with the team on a paid basis each week, consulting with us on everything from website wireframes to scholarship funding. Notopic is off the table. Their ideas and feedback are crucial to us building a brand that feels authentic and accessible.”
YAP panellist Adithi Kumar said, “I think it’s important for businesses to listen to youth voices because we’re the leaders of tomorrow and we’re going to have to face the brunt of the pressing issues we must address as soon as possible.”
Launching first with JENZA Work and Camp, with JENZA Intern and Teach to follow, JENZA makes travel add up for more people – giving travellers the option to pre-arrange a job with vetted employers in Canada, Japan, the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Kristian Webber, Head of Business Development said of JENZA’s new online Job Hub, “Working holidaymakers are often faced with less than favourable job terms with little or no accountability from employers. Our dedicated jobs team vet every employer. Our travellers then have the option to apply for jobs before they go, when they land and for the whole of their visa.”
Before launch, JENZA sent roadtesters to trial each of their work abroad products feeding back via surveys, blogs and face-to-camera videos. Lynch said of JENZA’s roadtester community, “These warts and all encounters make sure we’re offering genuine first-hand perspectives to future travellers. We wanted to step away from only advertising Insta-perfect moments and give our travellers an unedited version of what a
working holiday involves.”
Set to become B Corp certified by 2024 and due to launch their first overseas scholarship scheme in February 2023, Sheelagh Daly Head of Purpose said, “Working holidays by their nature are a lower impact way to travel. But JENZA had to satisfy more than just our travellers’ desire to explore differently. Gen Z are advocates and activists – and they leave no one behind. By donating 5% of profits to our Youth Access Scholarship Fund, we
can help support more young people to have the life and career enhancing experience of working overseas.”
Cunningham summarised her thoughts by saying of the team, “They’ve worked tirelessly to reignite passion for travel, obsessed with authenticity and purpose. A year in the making, collecting feedback at every stage, there are no shortcuts or quick wins here. We feel like we’re breaking down barriers for young people and are creating a more sustainable and ethical business.”
JENZA has released a number of videos for their launch:
Youth Advisory Panel video
Roadtester video series
Where does my money go video