Walking down Rideau street this summer, it’s hard to miss their bright purple logo in the window of Envirocentre, or the lineup of bikes in the front of the shop. At first glance, you might not guess the extent of the services that they provide to Ottawa’s cycling community, but Right Bike does it all.
If you live in Ottawa, you’ve probably spotted someone riding one of Right Bike’s signature refurbished purple bikes. You might even come across a crew from Right Bike offering free bike tune-ups for the public at City Hall or in neighbourhoods across the city. Believe it or not; on top of their bike rentals, bike share program, and free tune-ups, Right Bike also sells bikes and offers tune-ups out of their pop-up shop at 366 Rideau Street. But why do they do it?
Operating as a social enterprise under Causeway Work Centre, Right Bike’s primary mission is to employ individuals who are working to overcome barriers to employment, and to teach and train them in the field of bike mechanics. The ultimate goal for Right Bike is to serve as a pathway to economic independence for these individuals. Operational Manager, Samuel Benoit, says that the biggest success and most rewarding aspect of being a part of Right Bike is shown by the progress made by the employees and the independence they have gained in working there. Mr. Benoit went on to proudly say, "many staff and trainees have used experience here to start new careers in bike mechanics and beyond”. While the employment piece of Right Bike may be its biggest pride, Samuel went on to highlight the fact that customers continue to return not only for the social impact they are helping to create but for the excellent services that Right Bike provides.
Looking to rent a purple bike or get your own tuned up? Head over to https://rightbike.org/ for more information.
Want to learn about other social enterprises in Ottawa? Read our other sector snapshots or browse through our social enterprise directory: https://weallprofit.ca/