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Expansion of Electric Trikes in Lyon, France Spurs Micro...

Expansion of Electric Trikes in Lyon, France Spurs Microfranchise Opportunities

The French microcredit leader, Adie, just started a franchise with a Lyonnaise startup that transports people and packages on electric delivery trikes. The microcredit company allows people who are unemployed to create or take up work again and expand their scope of operations thanks to financial aid. Adie, the leader in this market, with more

Bike taxi as seen in Paris, France

The French microcredit leader, Adie, just started a franchise with a Lyonnaise startup that transports people and packages on electric delivery trikes.

The microcredit company allows people who are unemployed to create or take up work again and expand their scope of operations thanks to financial aid. Adie, the leader in this market, with more than 120,000 microcredits given out over its 25 years as a company, hopes to develop “turn-key” contracts with entrepreneurs who lack ideas for new projects. Since 2009, the association has launched a social microfranchise project with partners such as the French delivery specialist O2 (to deliver gardening materials), as well as Chauffeur & Go (a company that hires out drivers to drive customers’ cars). Adie has just expanded its network with Cyclopolitain, a manufacturer of electric delivery tricycles who has begun a network of bike-taxis in Lyon, France.

Cyclopolitian bike taxi with passengers in Lyon, France

The idea is to launch a network for transporting people and small packages short distances. The project has been baptized “my neighborhood courier,” in several large French cities. Job seekers without access to a credit or debit card will benefit from Adie’s support by gaining access to 8,000 Euros. With this support, they can create their own enterprise using the cycletaxis. Cyclopolitain will then furnish them with an equipped cycletaxi and provide a three-day training session and support to learn how to boost economic activity. According to Adie, following the first months of work, those franchised could earn “a revenue that is higher than minimum wage,” notably via marketing and the selling of advertisements on the sides of their vehicle.

The network “my neighborhood courier” is currently being deployed in Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nantes, Grenoble, Lille, Chambéry, Annecy, and Dijon. Eventually, all cities with more than 35,000 inhabitants will be targeted. “Our goal is to convince 500 entrepreneurs to get on board with this social microfranchise over the next 5 years,” specified Sarah Dufour, Cofounder of Cyclopolitain, along with Gérald Lévy. The two creators of the startup, which today has revenues of 1.5 million Euros, came up with the idea for this enterprise on the benches of EMLYON business school in 2003.

Cyclopolitain messenger delivery bike in Annecy, France

Today, they have 800 vehicles in circulation in over 20 countries. In France, the “cycletaxis” are available in a dozen cities and have allowed for the indirect creation of 80 jobs. “The partnership with Adie is going very well. We have already received more than 500 applications from candidates. Now it is up to us to review them and respond,” said Sarah Dufour.

Adie aides in the creation of more than 200 jobs per week, assisting with the expansion of social microfranchises. Adie’s president, Catherine Barbaroux, explained the company’s new strategic goals through 2017. These goals include distributing 24,000 microcredits every year as opposed to the 16,000 that are currently given. 13,400 of these microcredits will be dedicated to creating new enterprises. From the social microfranchises, Barbaroux hopes to create “3,000 to 5,000 jobs in 10-12 sectors over the next 10 years.”

What do you think of the idea of cycletaxis? Does your community have a similar program? If not, would it benefit from one? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

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Katelyn Hewett recently graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. During her time at St. Olaf, she enjoyed playing the French Horn in the St. Olaf Band, working as a teaching assistant for first-year...

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