Cycling with profit
The social enterprise "bikuh" rewards cyclists for every kilometre and so protects the climate.
Germany. Traffic accounts for about one fifth of CO2 emissions in Germany. Especially in cities, the pollution caused by cars is enormous. The social enterprise “bikuh” motivates people to switch to bikes.
I want to use my labour power to generate social added value.
This is the idea
Riding a bike and earning money - that is, in short, the idea of “bikuh”. During a stay in Australia, Angela Gonzalez came across bicyclists who attracted followers with advertisements. "Then all the gears started turning in my head", says “bikuh”’s founder, who during her university studies in project management concerned herself with questions of entrepreneurial responsibility and has always wanted more than just a job: "I want to use my labour power to generate social added value.” Together with Patrick Kolb, she developed the bicycle idea further. Kolb is a sales expert in the electronics industry. Privately, he travels everywhere by bike. What if you could get companies to pay cyclists for doing the same?
This is how the “bikuh” app works
The app is the heart of “bikuh”. Using it, bikers and advertisers find each other. If you bike at least 100 kilometres per month, you can register and get a selection of advertising partners. Once the biker has made his decision, he has a disc with advertising installed in his front wheel at a bicycle workshop. The app records which routes he travels. The more kilometres you cycle, the more you earn. New members start with ten cents per kilometre.
This is the plan for the future
More than 7,000 cyclists registered during the pilot phase in Frankfurt am Main. “Three-quarters of them said in a poll that with ‘bikuh‘ they now bike more often than they used to”, says Kolb. After successful testing, the company now wants to grow. “In the next five years, we want to be represented in all German cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants.”
The Social Impact Lab has helped founders build their start-up. “The lab was a test for us”, says Gonzalez. “We had to ask ourselves many questions: What legal form should our company have? How do you define a price for a product that doesn’t exist yet?” The technical development of the app was also a long lap for the founders. Their perseverance had paid off.