Social Enterprise Spotlight – Callander Youth Project Trust

Posted: 01 May 2018, in Sector News

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Chris Martin and Callander Youth Project Trust. Read and share their Q&A interview below! Get in contact with Chris Martin on

What’s your social and/or environmental mission? Callander Hostel offers 5 star visitor accommodation in the heart of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, the gateway to the Highlands.  Owned by a parent charity we have an employability agenda as well as allowing the charity to generate income.  We offer unemployed young people opportunities to increase their employability and life chances.

How do you do it? (Client group, practical daily work, customers) We have mapped all our provision across Scottish Government’s Employability Pipeline ensuring we can support young people at whatever stage they find themselves.  We offer living wage jobs for all of our young people who run the hostel, café and events space supported by our trainers.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? Hearing young people articulate how an intervention from Callander Youth Project Trust has changed their lives is personally motivating. 

What are your current projects? We are currently planning to welcome delegates to Callander for a two-day study visit during the Social Enterprise World Forum when it returns to Edinburgh, in September.  We have a packed schedule with an Outlander tour of Doune Castle as well as a Jazz on the Loch sailing trip.

What exciting things do you have coming up? We are taking two young people to Washington D.C. to work with international partners D.C. Central Kitchens.  I first met Mike Curtin two years ago in Hong Kong and we have developed links that will hopefully allow a reciprocal visit next year.

What’s your biggest challenge? Balancing support for young people who have never worked with getting our service right for our customers is often a challenge.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises? Make sure your business plan stacks up!  I’ve seen too many social enterprises fail because of a poor business plan.  Yes, grant income is great when you get it but get your product and your price point right first and foremost!