Noirbnb is about to transform the world of travel - and beyond.
Over the last few years Airbnb has been steeped race controversy.
Many black Airbnb users have been discriminated against by white hosts who refuse to accept their bookings, and this year the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack became widely used this year by people sharing stories of the abuse.
Last month Airbnb announced steps to combat these issues, but for many it’s a case of too little, too late.
That’s why one new business is taking on the sharing economy giant – to transform the world of travel.
Stefan Grant is an entrepreneur who wants to make travel inclusive today.
Alongside co-founder COO Jide Ehimika, he’s created Noirbnb – a home-sharing platform that wants to make travel better for everyone.
The platform is “for all people who are welcoming and share our values of inclusion, acceptance, as well as a love for travel,” says Grant.
“Noirbnb needs to exist because of the discrimination and prejudice faced by Black travellers and people of colour while using home-sharing sites such as Airbnb.”
Noirbnb is similar to Airbnb in that it helps guests around the world book properties for their next trips – but it’s far more inclusive.
“Our platform is less prejudiced because, being that we’ve been discriminated against while using such platforms, we not only have the solutions for those issues in mind, we’re truly on the path to provide a new, unique, more personalised and functional experience.”
Anyone can use Noirbnb no matter their race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender, preference, or ability. You just have to follow community rules to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all guests and hosts.
The platform will also feature several new benefits – but Grant is keeping those under wraps until Noirbnb’s official launch in December 2016.
“We’ve created a platform to provide a more unique and overall positive experience […] to help bring people together and make the world an overall more awesome place to be a part of,” says Grant.
Noirbnb is already accepting listings and is in the process of expanding its team and creating a company presence around the world.
In a year Grant hopes to have hundreds of thousands of bookings, and beyond that, he wants to totally transform the global home-sharing economy.
“Our big dream is to not only connect Black travellers and hosts – we really want to make a positive impact on the cities, towns, neighbourhoods, states, and countries that Noirbnb is a part of,” says Grant.
“We want to help people and families make extra income, and help the Black community to build a platform for economic solidarity that will benefit present and future generations.”
It’s a brilliantly bold vision of hope that we can certainly get behind. Will you?
Kitty Knowles is a Senior Features Writer at The Memo. Kitty previously worked as an online journalist for GQ. She can be found tweeting @KittyGKnowles.