74. The Bicycle Academy
A place to learn how to make bikes – then give them away to someone who really needs one
Founder: Andrew Denham
Founded: November 2011
Andrew Denham is the essence of the modern entrepreneur. Frustrated with his day job in the offshore oil industry, he started (on the side) an enterprise which combines business brilliance with social consciousness. Not only does The Bicycle Academy tap into the booming cycling sector, it will donate the first bike made by every student to someone who really needs it in Africa, bring tourism to the founder’s local community and pass the fading skill of bicycle-frame-building on to the next generation.
Furthermore, rather than beg the banks for start-up capital, Denham launched a pioneering crowdfunding pitch – raising £40,000 in five days, with a campaign which has become an inspiring blueprint for best practice on such platforms.