In Quebec, Canada, I came across this interesting business idea: A mobile bicycle repair shop that is practical for customers comes and helps him to fix his own bike - for free too. She finds support for helping people to help themselves at the city's bicycle shops of all places.


Help for self-help as a market gap

In Quebec Down-Town, on the Place Jacques-Cartier in front of the Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy, I met Justin Moisan by accident. He has a master's degree in literature, but then he felt it Lustto work with your hands.

And soon recognized a gap in the market: “There are many Peoplewho want to repair their bike themselves instead of having it repaired at a shop, which is expensive. But you can't borrow the right tool for it anywhere."

Quebec's mobile bike shop

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So in 2007 he founded an atelier de reparation de velo ambulant, too German a mobile bicycle repair shop which he christened RAJ Velo.

RAJ stands for Justin's first donors, the Ragrupment Autonome de Jaume, the autonomous youth groups. That comes from the autonomous collective Money for the first tools he bought for his workshop.

Everything started with courses

It all started with bike repair rates that Justin gave once a week. For about two years, he has been regularly on the Place Jaques Cartier, where the poorer inhabitants of Quebecs lived so far.

Justin spends three hours a week on his little one Idea on. A total of 10 people are involved, who take turns helping out. A real community project that is financed by donations. Customers pay nothing for the repair.

A business without permission

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Justin does not have a permit, nor does he need one, as he explains: “The police came by sometimes, but what should they say? we repair bicycles here for free! ”

In fact, that's small Companys in reality none at all: that Objective is not about making money, but about helping people.

The economy has also recognized the benefits of this idea

Astonishingly, there are also some support from the bike shops in the city, which provide him with tools and spare parts. Like mountain equipment, as a cooperative itself, a company with social aspirations, as Justin explains.

I ask whether these stores are not competing with each other. “Oh no,” says Justin, “The people who come to us wouldn't go to the shop anyway. But if we don't have certain spare parts, we send people to the shop. So there is even advertising for the bike shops. ”

Do not wait until someone changes something: change it yourself


But Justin, who has just taken part in the student strikes against higher tuition fees, also associates a political idea with the idea message:

"You don't have to wait for anyone to change anything - just change it yourself" - that's what he wants to show people here.

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