Good Business: Room for Tea
The Good Business column catches up with people who are leading social change. It is created in collaboration with Impact Hub Islington, a co-working and business incubation space in London for socially-minded entrepreneurs.
Social enterprise Room for Tea connects young people undertaking internships and in need of short-term, affordable accommodation with hosts who have a spare room in their homes.
Greta: Milena, tell us about Room for Tea in a nutshell.
Milena: Room for Tea is a home-sharing network that connects interns looking for short-term, affordable housing in London with hosts who have spare rooms in their homes.
We focus on working with young people who are undertaking unpaid or low-paid work experience and need affordable accommodation, and with single parents and older adults who might benefit from renting out their spare rooms.
What motivated you to set it up?
The motivation stemmed from my own experience as an unpaid intern in the third sector after graduating from university. During my internship, I realised it was very difficult to get a paid job at entry level in the third sector and the thought of having to do another unpaid internship seemed ridiculous.
But most importantly, I realised I was not the only one struggling to cover my living costs in London. Most of the people I talked to were sleeping on friends’ couches. There just are not enough affordable and flexible housing options for interns. So I decided to set up Room for Tea to provide young people undertaking internships and low-paid work experience with an alternative.