Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
December 18, 2018 | Tom Ballard

Upper Cumberland resident leads Just Hope International’s entrepreneurial initiative

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For the next several days, we are posting articles about eastern Tennessee entrepreneurs that appeared in other publications. Today’s spotlight is on an Upper Cumberland Entrepreneur that appeared in a recent issue of The Biz Foundry newsletter.)

Travis Trull has a passion for entrepreneurship. In fact, nearly everything he has done professionally in the last decade has centered around building and growing independent businesses in both America and in Africa.


Travis was born in Kenya. The son of missionaries, he spent much of his formative years moving between the US and Africa. During his time in Africa, Travis made lifelong friends. He also developed a deep respect and love for the peoples and communities he met there. To Travis, Africa is a second home.


For five years, Travis lived and worked in Tanzania in east Africa. He worked on economic development in the region before deciding to return to the U.S. three years ago. In those last three years, Travis has help start a real estate business in Alabama, help grow an educational agricultural business, and begin his work with Just Hope International.


Currently, Travis oversees the entrepreneurship development program at Just Hope. What this means is that he checks in with organizations based in Africa who are partnered with Just Hope. These organizations train locals in practical business skills and coach them through the starting of their own business. Travis’s job is to provide these organizations with assistance and resources to better equip them in their task.


Travis started at Just Hope as a part-time employee about a year ago. He started working full-time for the organization last May. When asked about his work, Travis had this to say:


“I love what the organization is doing there. I love how they’re approaching it. I love being able to interact with people there and see people have the opportunity to just take big steps to improve their lives.”


“And I get to travel and work with really remarkable people doing really cool stuff. It’s an exciting opportunity to serve others through business and entrepreneurship and is the kind of thing I want to be involved in the rest of my life.”


Just Hope International’s office is based out of Brentwood, and Travis travels there twice a week. However, the commute can be difficult when attempted daily. Instead, Travis spends three of his work days at The Biz Foundry.


“It’s a great environment…It’s an Entrepreneurship Center. Coming in and out are lots of people doing lots of interesting things, starting businesses, and talking about what they’re doing. It’s a great place to connect with people to learn a lot. It intersects a lot with what I do.


It’s a similar effort: what I’m trying to do in places like East and West Africa and what they’re trying to do here in this part of Tennessee. So, we’re able to share ideas and learn from each other.”

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