Pleasurable Activism & Making a Living from Your Ideals!
Our goal for this internship is for it to give interns the intellectual and practical foundation to create their own idealistic intern projects. Many interns come here because it is a great inexpensive way to live in Hawaii, meet new people, and enjoy paradise with just a two-day work week.
However, each intern supposedly wants to make a difference. At least, that is what they put in their application! Though, It is not a requirement to be an Intern Entrepreneur, we encourage and support Interns who wish to learn how to apply their ideals to a career opportunity.
We do our best to help interns turn their ideas and activism into successful business plans (trying to come up with better phrase than business plan). Our goal is to graduate activist intern entrepreneurs. Hedonisia hosts about 10-20 interns a year; if only 2 per year eventually develop an entrepreneur idea to improve the world, then we are that much closer to saving it!
It is not a requirement to be an Intern Entrepreneur! Many intern applicants put many wonderful entrepreneur ideals in their application and then seem to forget about it once they become an intern!
However, our goal is to graduate activist intern entrepreneurs; to give interns the intellectual and practical foundation to create their own idealistic intern projects. Artistic creativity can also be social entrepreneurial. Hedonisia hosts about 10-20 interns a year; if only 2 per year eventually develop an entrepreneur idea to improve the world, then we are that much closer to saving it!
This tends to happen more when interns see it as a job rather than an immersive educational internship on managing an Activist Business!
When you graduate from Hedonisia, we hope you leave with wonderful memories. But we also want you to leave with the foundation of at least one to make the world a better place.
While they can partner with us if they choose, interns are also free to take any of our ideas royalty free and make their own business in their own time and not pay us any license fees. That is how much we believe in the concept of activist entrepreneurship!
Interns can choose Brain Focus projects that align with the business they want to start. Or they can work on the following entrepreneur learning resources from our portfolio:
- Hedonisia Handbook: How to manage an Eco-Tourist Community
- EcoFeminist Entrepreneur: Creating commercial products and services for gender equality.
- EcoSexual Entrepreneur: Working with sexuality to improve society and the natural environment.
- Activist Entrepreneur: Using Using business as a tool for social change.
An intern may not turn their idea into a business right away. But having a project to ‘save the world’ while you are doing ‘normal’ jobs to pay the bills is a great way to stay sane! It also provides a foundation for a person’s life. Slowly building or researching a job/business that’s good for people and the planet is one of the best forms of therapy!
I came up with the Hedonisia name and idea when I was 18 in my first year of college. So we understand it will take time!
Interns making an Income at Hedonisia!
Interns are not official employees so we do not pay with money, we pay with ‘time’! With 5 days off each week, interns have plenty of time to find an actual paying job or to simply enjoy Hawaii.
However, jobs in the Puna area are scarce. In addition, part of this internship training is to encourage interns in the economic self-reliance that comes from being an entrepreneur.
In fact, all our social enterprise web projects revolve around the idea of being an ethical entrepreneur; using business as a tool for social change and economic self-reliance through creating ethical businesses.
Here are some different options for self-motivated interns to earn a little income through entrepreneurial activities! Feel free to offer suggestions. Even if they are rejected we encourage you to think ‘outside the box’!
1) 50% commission on Laundry, Snorkel, Towel Sales & Recycled Products: Many things end up at Hedonisia. And if not taken care for in some way they end up as trash in the landfill. So we try to refurbish some of the items such as towels and snorkels for resale at deeply discounted prices.
We recycle a number of items on the property such as towels, snorkel gear, phone chargers etc. Interns get a 50% commission on all sales that they make of such items through our Craigslist account or Facebook. They simply enter their sales data on the Bookings Spreadsheet Sales tab and then get paid at the end of the month.
Interns have done very well in the past as long as they communicate about what they want to sell and they must use the intern account. There are many items on the property to sell including an antique painting in the Private office.
In order for a product to be reused, it must be prepared! And often that involves cleaning or light repairs. For example, with Snorkelling Equipment, clean using vinegar & hydrogen peroxide to disinfect and kill mold.
2) Interns Getting a Car or being an Approved Driver. We have lots of info on this!
3) Interns Buying & Selling Pre-Packaged Foods or other items: When it’s late at night or in the evening many are hungry or thirsty for a snack but don’t want to make the trip into Pahoa! So Interns can make a small income buying small prepackaged food items for sale at a markup. Walmart or Target often have snacks on sale in larger packs that can then be broken down into single units for sale. Lighters are another good item for resale!
When interns make these sorts of purchases with their own money they can mark up what they want and then sell the items. Whatever profit they make is theirs. The community will not take a share. However, if another intern sells one of these items on their shift we suggest that the two interns split the profit as a matter of fairness!
5) Interns Sourcing Items to Sell. We welcome Interns bringing in items to sell as long as they don’t clutter up the property!
- Commission Split. Once an item is being stored and sold on our property there is a 50/50 split commission if that intern makes the sale on their shift between the community and the intern.
- When an Intern Gets an Item. On donated items that have been sourced by one intern we recommend that they state their working days on their Craigslist ad so that they can make the sale when they are on shift. Otherwise, when two interns are involved in a sale, we split the commissions into thirds. So for example, if the buyer shows up on a day when another intern is on shift then we split the commission three ways.
All Commissions are paid out at the end of the month.
6) Intern Entrepreneurs! We understand that to truly make a business that makes a difference a lot of prep and research and learning is required.
If the community is over it’s quota of 7 interns, we would tend to give preference to interns who have a social enterprise project they are working on because such interns have a vested interest in really learning and practicing our intern program as they now have their own ‘skin in the game’!
Use your brains to come up with your own physical or virtual CAFE Enterprise! You might not only give yourself an income but also a meaningful career!
7) Making Meals for Donations. Food harvesting and using donations in combination with outside purchases to make delicious dishes is one great way for interns to make a little money and subsidize meals. A Spanish Intern did this successfully for many months in the past with his daily ‘rice and beans’.
Intern‘s Personal Use of Community Resources.
IN EVERY CASE, if an Intern needs to borrow, community tools use electricity for a personal, artistic or business project then they should ask the Community Director.
We are pretty flexible when asked. Many times we will approve a request but with qualifers.
For example, if the Intern has a cookie baking business which requires them to use the community oven then they should negotiate with the owner to make a fair-trade agreement for use of electricity and cooking implements.
It is very frustrating when interns just use Hedo resources which are then not there when we need them! If in doubt, ASK!
Interns Using Craigslist
Community Security & Guidelines for using Craigslist & Garage Sales as a local PR Tool & Income Source for Interns!
With a name like Hedonisia there are all sorts of rumors flying around about our little community!. So we allow Interns to sell things (with permission!) from the property to locals in the area.
Sales like this are a unique form of Public Relations. It is a nice way of showing people in the area what the Hedonisia is really like. Plus many people have family on the mainland and they like knowing affordable quirky places like ours for their friends and family when they visit!
If you do sell something of ours on Craigslist we would recommend that you have the person visit when you are on shift. We would also like you to give them a little tour if they seem interested (Visitors always like our volcanic crater!) or give them a business card. With a name like Hedonisia there are all sorts of rumors flying around about our little community!
- Our Craigslist account to use for all Intern sales is email@example.com. Password: Ask the Director so that he knows who’s selling!
- For all items that are sold the split is 50% for the Intern and 50% for the Hedonisia community.
- In order to get the full benefit of the sale Interns should say which days they are working on in the ad. For example: “To purchase please call Chris at 808-430-9903. I’m an Intern at Hedonisia Hawaii and work on Tuesdays and Saturdays.”
- If a person comes on another day and another intern takes the time to sell the item then the two interns split their share giving 25% each.
- For items on the property interns can negotiate who wants to sell what and then make sure it’s okay with the Director to sell and that they agree on a price to sell it!
- Interns may bring outside items for sale but once they are being stored on the property then the usual 50% split applies. When they bring something they may choose their price. However, try to price items to sell as recycled prices are often lower than on the mainland. For example, Smith Appliances, a local used reseller, will often sell fridges with a 3-month guarantee for only $120 or less!
- Interns have to make sure that any items they bring on the property for resale are stored properly in such a way as not to disrupt community operations.
- Interns may give a small tour of the community to customers they feel comfortable with as part of our local PR. To those who have visiting family or friends you can also show them some of our lodgings!
- The police have warned us that criminals in Hawaii will often use garage sales and Craigslist visits to ‘case’ a place and see what is easily ‘stealable’ so they can return at another time. If you are in any way suspicious talk about our 24-hour hidden camera security and the fact that there is someone on duty at all times!