Hostel Hub are finalists for Firstport’s LaunchMe accelerator programme

Last night we had the privilege of listening to Deputy First Minister John Swinney congratulate Hostel Hub and our fellow social entrepreneurs. After three tough selection rounds, Hostel Hub made it on to Firstport’s LaunchMe programme — and innovative accelerator programme for social entrepreneurs in Scotland. Social investment via LaunchMe to fuel growth Thanks to the funding and advice the programme will provide over the next 10 months, we will open our first Hostel Hub-owned boutique hostel next year. Though we are assisting several communities across the UK to open boutique hostels, this will be the first one that we are directly operating and potentially owning. We will be working very closely with the local community just as we always do, but this will enable us to create a flagship hostel to demonstrate how extraordinary a hostel can be, if we do say so ourselves. Our plan is to create a network of social enterprise boutique hostels across the UK. Many of our hostels will be owned by communities, some will be owned by us, and LaunchMe will prepare us and connect us to investors who can help us make that happen. All of our hostels will partner with social enterprises, community groups and residents in the community in which each hostel is based to reflect what’s special about the local community. Every hostel will be run by local people and the profits from the hostel will benefit that community. Community boutique hostel in Culross We have already secured an £18,000 grant from the Big Lottery via LaunchMe to convert part of Culross Manse in Culross, Fife. Known as...

Hostels = SOCIAL IMPACT

As a social enterprise our main concern isn’t making profit from our hostels. Our goal is to demonstrate the social impact that these hostels can have on communities. Let us share with you how we can make a difference and how we can benefit communities, local shops, young people and your local economy. So, how do we know that this works? From experience of course. A little while ago Malcolm took over a struggling hostel in Wales. One night the locals threatened to burn down the hostel. He was called from his bed by the sound of petrol bombs exploding and children crying. Terrified parents waited for him to sort it out. I bet you’re wondering how on earth he managed to get himself into this situation? He had asked to run this hostel – to prove a point. It was in the wrong location, making a loss and hated by the community. Relations got so bad a stressed manager had threatened the local youths with a shotgun. There was no investment since it might close any day. The beds were old and creaky, mattresses thin and pillows flat. The drains smelt and rats were in the food store. English suppliers brought in all the stock, right under the noses of the butcher and grocer. Guests spent their money in the hostel, from where it was sent away to head office. It employed 2 summer workers, who knew little about the local area. What they earned was saved to pay college fees. The only job options locally were seasonal work in nearby tourist towns. Or move. When he took over the...

Social enterprise and hostels go hand in hand

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment.  They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. So when they profit, society profits.   Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies.    So how do hostels fit into that? Well, any business can be a social enterprise as long as they as they are reinvesting their profits back into their cause. We believe that hostels add a unique quality to communities by bringing travellers into the area. This not only brings income into the community and provides jobs for those who really need them but provides the locals with an opportunity to meet and learn from interesting people from all over the world. Blogger Rosie Niven is definitely on the same page as us and discusses how ‘Social Entrepreneurs are keeping the hostelling movement alive’. “I found Wooler youth hostel in Northumberland to be thriving under the management of Glendale Gateway Trust, a social enterprise. In the article for the Guardian’s Social Enterprise Network, I also covered how the success of Wooler has inspired other social enterprises in Northumberland to open brand new hostels.”   Along with this we want to change people’s perception of hostels so they view them as social hubs rather than creaking bunk beds you only use to sleep in. The boutique hostel trend is growing rapidly all over the...

How Adopt an Intern can help Social Enterprise

Adopt an Intern (AAI) was born in late 2009 when Joy Lewis (now Adopt an Intern’s CEO) decided to take action against unpaid internships that take advantage of talented graduates.  The economy was, and still is, in a pretty poor state, the creation of new jobs is exceptionally low and all the while more and more graduates were leaving university and joining those already looking for work, desperate to step into the great jobs they’d been told would fall at their newly-graduated feet. Graduates were faced with an uphill battle, exacerbated by their lack of experience in the world of work. Job application after job application rejected due to ‘lack of experience’ NOT due to lack of potential. The poor job market is forcing over-qualified individuals to take jobs that 20 years ago would have been happily filled with a recent graduate eager to learn on the job. Too many graduates are finding the only way to get a toe in the door is through unpaid internships and voluntary work.   Knowing that not only do graduates have a lot to offer, but that our economic future relies on the youth of today, Joy started as Adopt an Intern continues today, making sure all internships are transparently advertised, that graduates are carefully short-listed, supported and tracked afterwards and most importantly, paid for their work. Scotland’s economy needs sustainable growth. Paid graduate internships provide a fair and flexible approach to bringing talent and innovation into business and organisations to support that growth. To mark Adopt and Intern’s success at placing their 1000th graduate into a paid internship and their 5th...

About Us

Hostel Hub helps regenerate communities through great hostels. We work with development trusts, charities and local activists to start up boutique hostels which are so amazing, people will travel from all over the world just to stay there.

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