At Bicycle Links, we pride ourselves on being a social enterprise, but we understand that sometimes it’s difficult to understand what exactly that is. How is it different to a normal business? What makes Bicycle Links a social enterprise? We thought we would take the time to answer these questions and more.
What is a social enterprise?
It’s a business that trades with the goal of helping to improve society, aid communities, and provide opportunities to those who might otherwise not have access to them.
What makes Bicycle Links a social enterprise?
Bicycle Links is formally registered as a ‘Community Interest Company’, and we report annually on our achievements to the Registrar of Community Interest Companies. We have a number of social aims which we focus on, as follows:
Recycling – We have received almost 3000 bikes through donation since 2012, and are proud to say that almost nothing has gone to waste. Wherever possible we will refurbish a bike, or strip it for parts to use on other bikes. If a bike or its parts cannot be reused, we ensure that they are disposed in a manner that is as environmentally friendly as possible
Training – Through projects like Pedal Forward, Bicycle Links has succeeded in developing the workshop skills of members of the community who are disadvantaged through unemployment or disability. Our upcycling sessions provide an informal learning environment, where working practices and social skills are developed alongside technical knowhow.
- Sustainable transport – From the outset, Bicycle Links has been promoting cycling as a sustainable mode of transport and means towards a healthy active lifestyle. To that end we have been involved in programs such as Get Cycling, the Norfolk Cycle Loan Scheme, as well as Park Ride and Fix and Ride initiatives.
Going forward, Bicycle Links will continue to provide skills training, as well as access to bicycles to those who previously have had none. We are very proud of our Social Enterprise status, and customers and volunteers alike gain a great sense of well-being, knowing that their continued support of Bicycle Links will have a positive impact on the community for years to come.