The Dictionary Hostel
Case Study

Eliska Finlay, The Dictionary Hostel

“I hadn’t ever run my own business before so needed… a mentor or at least some guidance on the strategic and financial side of things.”

-Eliska Finlay

The Dictionary Hostel is a youth hotel located in Shoreditch, London with 190 rooms. On top of this it boasts a barn, restaurant and coffee shop, as well as catering services if guests want to make their own food. Opened in 2012, the dictionary hostel is owner Eliska Finlay’s first business venture.

Starting out, Eliska was concerned with the progress of her finances as well as renegotiation of the terms of her lease. It was these circumstances which lead her to get in touch with Nigel. At the outset Nigel was very much involved in helping Eliska to have a better understanding of her finances. He also used his experience of negotiation to pinpoint specific clauses within the lease which could be renegotiated.

“[He has an] incredible ability to focus 100% on that issue at that very moment and what your needs are so that he’s able to come back to you immediately with something that is relevant to you.”

-Eliska Finlay

Since then Nigel has acted as a sounding board, speaking with Elsika when she encounters difficulty, offering a commercial opinion to support her decision-making process. As a non-executive, Nigel has provided a strategic approach, looking at the short and medium term and trying to address any issues which may arise in that time. As well as his own advice, Nigel utilises his network to put Eliska in touch with people who are best placed to help.

“He’s got a good way of looking at things with a different perspective. So there’s a feeling of safety around having somebody around that is just there for helping you out.”

-Eliska Finlay