Belgian-based company Bizbike designs and assembles electric bicycles for the Belgian market. It is Managing Director Louis Vanhove’s ambition to significantly change mobility in Belgium and abroad in a sustainable way by getting as many people as possible to use electric bikes. For maximum impact, Bizbike mainly offers its electric bikes and services to companies and large media channels, which has been a very successful approach. Since the company’s foundation in 2014, 70,000 employees have opted for an electric bicycle and Bizbike experienced 70% growth in 2020.
Sustainability is also in the DNA of social enterprise WAAK in Kuurne. WAAK’s main mission is to offer a suitable job to as many people as possible who would otherwise find it difficult to enter the labour market. WAAK also excels in all other aspects of sustainable entrepreneurship. The company has been awarded the VOKA Sustainable Enterprise Charter 17 times and has recently endorsed all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2017, WAAK was looking for a partner to set up a group buying deal for electric bikes. That is how it got in touch with Bizbike. Bizbike’s Managing Director Louis Vanhove immediately saw an opportunity to further shape his company’s growth in a flexible, affordable and inclusive way. Shortly afterwards, he requested the set-up of a WAAK enclave for the assembly of Bizbike bicycles. A team of 12 social enterprise workers and their supervisor currently finish 150 to 200 bicycles per day.
In 2018, a WAAK Green & Clean team also started a Bizbike cleaning assignment. Initially it was a small project, but now that Bizbike has moved to a new, bigger site in Kruishoutem, the team and the hours have increased.
Kristof Hots, Sales & Marketing Director at WAAK: "Our company is always looking for real partners who support sustainable entrepreneurship and are not afraid to see things in the long-term. Bizbike is a perfect match in that respect. We discuss each other's challenges and we make every effort to overcome them. For example, we deployed our own internal ergonomics department and workstation organisation on Bizbike's assembly lines. We make each other stronger that way.”
At the beginning of this year, WAAK organised a new successful group buying deal via Bizbike. WAAK will also continue to focus on sustainable mobility in the future. It organises regular cycling training sessions and bicycle maintenance for its own cycling staff.
"We try to focus on local assembly as much as possible, but it is not always easy to find suitable partners for this. The advantage of WAAK's enclave operation is that we get a permanent team with a supervisor. This makes the follow-up very easy. We can also easily scale up the operations according to our needs. The quality of the work is excellent. The return is not always 100% in line with our internal objectives, but that is part of the social role our company wants to play."