Mentoring platform to help rebuild confidence

A team of hotels and hospitality professionals left furloughed and unemployed by the Covid-19 crisis have launched a new social platform driven by mentoring to help rebuild the sector.

Otolo ( is a free, UK government-backed platform powered by its community to learn, network, share ideas and develop solutions help the hospitality sector rebuild and recover.  

Otolo evolved from a pro-bono online mentoring platform offering support to peers and younger professionals who were out of work, furloughed, or working in a fast-changing situation. After being awarded a UK Government grant to develop this into a full service, the team has been on a mission to support the hospitality industry and benefit workers globally at all levels in an ever-increasingly competitive job market. 

Otolo Founder and CEO James Lemon set up the platform after his consultancy businesses dried up during the pandemic. Spotting an opportunity to help those out of work in the sector skill-up and improve their employability chances as lockdown lifted, he hired a team made up of those among the estimated 1.6 million UK hospitality professionals – half of the sector’s workforce - who faced financial uncertainty from being on furlough or made redundant during the three UK Covid-19 lockdowns. 

With inclusivity at its core, Otolo is an ever-growing community of over 800 members at varying stages of their careers, looking either for mentoring to help further their careers or for mentees to coach and give back to their industry. The platform is used by over 20 organisations such as top hospitality chains Marriott and Accor, leading global hotel schools Glion and Les Roches, and various universities across the UK.