Innovative Best Practices




TIMELINE Launched in 2015 

CATEGORY Labor market integration, trainings qualifications apprenticeships


magdas HOTEL is Austria’s first social business hotel. For many refugees it is still difficult to access the Austrian labour market. There are initial difficulties with the German language, resentment from many employers and the fact that you are only allowed to work in Austria after your asylum application has been approved. magdas Hotel was opened in 2015 and creates apprenticeships, jobs and future prospects for people, who do not have equal access to the labour market. magdas is convinced that people who come from abroad actually strengthen the hotel business. They contribute a number of skills, talents, languages and cultural backgrounds. These positive aspects enable a special positioning within the hotel market. 

The hotel is centrally located in an attractive area of the city, which is close to the Vienna Prater, and offers seventy-eight rooms. Thus far, madgas Hotel has welcomed 181,000 guests from all over the world. These included over seventy people from twenty countries have found employment through the hotel. A new location is currently being built for the hotel with ninety rooms and its own restaurant. The expected opening is scheduled for the spring of 2022. 

The goal here is to foster the following: 

- Solve social issues wherever it makes sense and is possible in an entrepreneurial way 

- Create apprenticeships and jobs for people who do not have easy access to the labour market; 

- Benefit from the skills and talents of those with a refugee experience. 


magdas Hotel is part of the magdas social business group founded by Caritas Vienna in 2012. The aim of the entire group is to solve social issues wherever possible in an entrepreneurial way. magdas Hotel does not aim for profit, but wants to create jobs for people with a refugee background and offer them apprenticeships. The building where magdas Hotel is located is a former retirement home. The renovation of the building was financed with approx. Euro 57,000 from a crowdfunding campaign and a five-year loan from Caritas for the amount of Euros 1.5 million. Since the financial resources were not entirely sufficient for a hotel renovation, recycling and upcycling was used in order to achieve this goal. With the support of the Federal Ministry for Digitization and Business Location; a special focus on apprenticeships was introduced in the autumn of 2017. This has been implemented at magdas HOTEL. At the moment, thirteen young individuals with a refugee background are being trained for the various hotel sectors.