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16/12/2010 // INFO 2 Comments

Cycling can do good

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Bikeworks

It’s always nice to highlight a cycling business success story, especially one that promotes the aspect of social enterprise.

And so to Bikeworks, the London-based firm, that uses cycling as a tool to tackle social, economic and environmental issues at a community level.

Since 2007, Bikeworks has operated a cycling hub in Hackney, east London, from where they deliver cycling training and create cycling industry employment opportunities for disadvantaged communities such as the homeless, unemployed and disabled.

Its most successful initiative is to provide training in bicycle mechanics and cycling instruction to these communities. Graduates from the training have not only gone onto to work with Bikeworks but have found full-time employment elsewhere. On site, Bikeworks also recycles & refurbishes second hand bikes.

Bikeworks generates its revenue through contracts with local authorities, third sector organizations and corporate clients. Additional earned income is derived through sales of recycled bikes, bike rental services, cycle assertive training, repairs and maintenance services to the general public.

It aims to take this business model to other parts of London and recently opened up a second Bikeworks cycling hub in Kensington & Chelsea in west London.

Bikeworks was founded by Jim Blakemore and Zoe Portlock. With a combined £10,000 from Bromley-by-Bow Centre and the London Cycling Campaign, the two entrepreneurs initially started to provide bicycle training to young autistic children in Hackney.

Recognition is coming and the company recently won the award for Best Social Enterprise at the London Business Awards.

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