Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy

Empowering the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs

At Airbnb, we believe tourism can be a force for good, and we want to do our part to give more people an opportunity to benefit. The Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy helps people, including those from diverse and historically underrepresented communities, learn how they can benefit from local tourism happening in the places they call home.

How it works

Airbnb partners with local organizations to craft an immersive education program that introduces participants to the potential of tourism entrepreneurship—including hosting on Airbnb.

We partner with:

Non-profit organization
Academic institutions
Destination Marketing Organizations
Development banks
Small businesses & small business centers

  • “It didn’t only transform my life, but it went further in transforming people around me and also my community.”

    Mhinti Pato, Academy Alumna, Cape Town, South Africa

The story so far

The program began in South Africa in 2017 to help support education in hospitality and technology for residents from under-resourced communities and rural areas. Given its success, we have expanded the program to more communities across the globe with active Academies in Kenya, Thailand, Colombia, the United States, and more. In 2020, the World Tourism Alliance (WTA) recognized the Academy for Best Practice in Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism.

Meet Academy Participants

Academies Around The World

The Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academies introduce hosting and entrepreneurship to diverse communities across the globe in partnership with local organizations. The curriculum focuses on entrepreneurship and experiential learning, fostering community connection and providing a pathway to hosting with confidence.

United States

In 2021, we partnered with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina to bring the Academy to the US. We now partner with nonprofits, academic institutions and government bodies in urban and rural areas across the country. Some of our partners include the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, the Center for Black Innovation and other community- based organizations focused on entrepreneurship, education and wealth building in diverse communities. Learn more


We partner with the Self Employed Women’s Association of India, a trade union with over 2 million women members across the country, to provide educational opportunities for rural women to become Hosts on Airbnb. Learn more.

We are also partnering with SHEROES, the world’s largest social media platform for women, to empower Indian women to become Hosts and earn an income on Airbnb. Learn more.

South Africa

Since 2017, we have partnered with academic institutions like the University of Johannesburg, local government agencies such as The Waterberg District Municipality and development organizations like Africa!Ignite and Relay Institute. Together with partners, we have delivered 24 in-person sessions to empower over 500 women and youth from 36 rural and underserved communities to access the Airbnb platform. Learn More


Since 2019, in partnership with The Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda, the Academy has delivered 5 Academy bootcamps, supporting over 120 tourism entrepreneurs from rural, urban and coastal communities in Nairobi, Kilifi and Kisumu Counties. Through this ongoing partnership, Airbnb helps to support a growing community of Kenyan hosts - many of whom are women and youth. Learn more


We partnered with UNESCO to help entrepreneurs develop authentic cultural experiences that represent Mexico City’s unique, cultural and creative traditions across many diverse neighborhoods.Learn more


We partner with Australian Rural Tourism to provide resources to help farmers in rural communities embrace the opportunities of agritourism. Learn more


We partnered with Pontificia Universidad Javeriana to create the Women Empowerment Innovation program, an innovation hub to support female entrepreneurs in Colombia. Learn more


We partnered with the Community Development Department and the Government Savings Bank to promote community tourism in different parts of Thailand. Learn more


We launched the China Host Empowerment Learning Hub, a content center including a rural empowerment curriculum, textbook and online training system in collaboration with 9 organizations and institutions.

South Korea

We partnered with Sejong University and Kyunghee University to provide a scholarship course for students, selected from a school-wide essay competition.

To learn more about the Academy, please reach out to

To see upcoming Academy opportunities in the United States, please visit the US Academy Hub

“It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Airbnb in partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to host the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy program here in Cherokee, North Carolina. Community members learned that they could earn extra income by renting out space or sharing experiences that highlight the natural landscape, scenic beauty, and wealth of outdoor activities. The Airbnb model aligns with our eco-tourism strategy to preserve our natural landscapes and beautiful scenery while providing more places to stay that make visitors feel like locals in Cherokee, NC.”

— Sabrina S. Arch, Director of Enterprise Development for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina, US

“We are excited to be collaborating with Airbnb to expand the Airbnb Academy as this presents wonderful opportunities for our students in the entrepreneurial space and broadens their exposure to tourism and hospitality. At School of Tourism and Hospitality we value our partnerships with industry and look forward to working together with Airbnb to educate our future entrepreneurs.”

— Professor Diane Abrahams, Director of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Johannesburg

“Together with Airbnb, we implemented a pilot project aimed at empowering individuals and groups interested in developing tourism products or services based on their cultural heritage or diversity. Through this initiative, participants had access to digital tourism market tools, all in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Our goal is to promote a sustainable tourism model that is managed by the communities themselves, contributes to the conservation of heritage and cultural diversity, and promotes economic growth in areas of Mexico City that have historically faced barriers to tourism development.”

— Alexander Leicht, Chief of the Section of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at UNESCO, Mexico

“The partnership between the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Airbnb, and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is an exciting opportunity to expand pathways to inclusive entrepreneurship and hosting in the D.C region. With 36 years of experience as a CDFI, we have dedicated ourselves to supporting small business development and are thrilled to align with like-minded partners who share our mission to increase equity and economic opportunities in our communities.”

— Sowmya Pelluru, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)

Academy Partners