Bristol pedicab business is the brainchild of student Sam
Press release issued: 10 November 2011
The sight of rickshaws delivering people and packages across the city of Bristol looks set to become more common thanks to Bristol University student Sam Harris.
Specially-adapted tricycles are being booked as taxis and couriers, as well as for sight-seeing tours and private events. Specialised trikes also collect waste paper and cardboard from local businesses for recycling.
The pedal power rickshaws have zero emissions and aim to cut congestion, pollution and carbon from the streets of Bristol.
Sam was able to get his business up to speed with the help of an Entrepreneurship Award from the University, which gave him £1,500, office space and advice for 12 weeks over the summer at Basecamp – the student start-up support service.
The Biological Sciences student said: “The Entrepreneurship Scheme gave me an official reason to start my business. “After initially planning to operate on a small-scale over the summertime, I realised this could really work as a year round business and have a much bigger impact.
“I had always had an environmental and entrepreneurial streak so running an environmental business made a lot of sense. My dad actually prompted the idea for Pedal Power Transport by reminding me of a rickshaw company back in Hereford that had won some awards.
“Since then it’s been a lot of hard work and a huge learning curve, not to mention a million late nights and early mornings whilst trying to study for my degree. We’ve built-up links with many local businesses already to deliver their goods and regularly act as a taxi service whether it’s for private tours, weddings or trips to the pub.
“I’ve got lots of plans for the future, with the ultimate goal of securing an investor to help franchise the business nationwide.”
Pedal Power Transport has secured additional funding through UnLtd, a charity which supports social entrepreneurs, to grow the pedicab and courier business through buying uniforms for staff as well as extra bikes to expand the operation.
Sam has also just won the Shell Livewire Award for his efforts to help the business grow and make a name for itself.
Advertising is the next avenue to explore with Sam planning to target 5,000 local companies who may wish to publicise their brand on the rickshaws to help create an eco-friendly and ethical image.
For further details, please see the Pedal Power Transport website.
Basecamp is the University of Bristol’s student start-up support service. Providing peer-support, desk-space, access to a student-run £30k seed fund, business advice surgeries provided by Veale Wasbrough Vizards, SWAIN, and Ernst & Young, master-class events, and opportunities to get advice and mentoring through a pioneering LinkedIn group of local and alumni entrepreneurs.
The other students who won Entrepreneurship Awards are:
- Zach Goldie, who studies Mechanical Engineering, prototyped a new lean mechanical device for streamlining the pouring of beer in bars.
- Philip Clamp, James Herrington and Jonathan Pike, all Computer Science students, founded Konqr - a website hosting social-gaming-driven competitions and challenges.