Skip to content

A bicycle delivery company has the wind in its sails

Nowadays, the sharing economy market is blooming and green businesses are multiplying. These two concepts are successfully growing all over the world. A Tunisian initiative had the idea of incorporating these two concepts at the same time. Indeed, with two friends, Adnen Ben Haji created a social "coworking space" incubator and a bicycle delivery company. Together, these two sister structures unite several objectives: providing a space that encourages collaborative working and innovation, but also employment which is respectful of the environment to young unemployed individuals. SwitchMed reveals to us one of its projects close to the heart and accompanies this initiative in the consolidation of its social and economic model.

The coworking space "El Space" found refuge in the heart of Tunis, at Bab Jazira. By passing through this modest threshold, one doesn't expect such a dynamic atmosphere, spread out over three floors, in a peaceful setting far from the noisy reputation of this neighborhood.

"When I discovered the concept of "coworking", it was like a revelation. I wanted the youth of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods to benefit from it as much as those upscale neighborhoods of Tunis"

El Space is not only a coworking space; it is above all a community which strives to be a vector of real change. It's a social incubator where members mainly try to find innovative solutions to improve daily life. This community wants to have a real impact on the local community by means of the social incubator and learning lab through activities ranging from networking and mentoring up to conferences and workshops on various eco-social subjects. 

Walid Doghri and Khawla El Behi, Adnen founded "El Space" to boost the Tunisian entrepreneurial ecosystem in the heart of the city of Tunis.

"We came together around a dream: to create a space where the spirit of sharing and collaboration reigns for youths from poor neighborhoods"

Thus, the learning lab consists of a series of monthly events at the Hub, in the form of discussion circles on several concepts such as sustainable transportation, the sharing economy, crowdfunding, environmental education, climate justice, etc.

Furthermore, it was in this hub of innovation that Adnen Ben Haji, Nino for his close friends, founded Pedalo in 2015, a bicycle delivery company. This company is headquartered in the "El Space" social incubator and is becoming a model of success for young people.

"It is primarily in order to reduce the impact of pollution in urban areas, but it's also a means for young people to make a little pocket money" explains Adnen to SwitchMed.

Whether it is to retrieve a double of the keys at the other end of Tunis or drop off a dress at the dry cleaner's before it closes, the bike is the best way to deliver all sorts of products. Adnen tells us, for example, that his clients send him to pay their bills in their place, or even send flowers to their lovers, for the most romantic among us. It is a means of transportation that is fun, ecological, economical, and now, profitable.

Moreover, their market research revealed that within 5 years the number of cars will double, with new dealers arriving and therefore more pollution.

"Encouraging young people to adopt a healthier and greener lifestyle is also our mission" he says. "Otherwise, they are going to end up needing to invest in medications".

Pedalo operates in Greater Tunis. Although devoid of bike paths, another challenge for couriers who ride 20 kilometers per day: "The infrastructure doesn't help, but it's better than making the trip by car with traffic" Adnen remarks. 

"The particular support of SwitchMed for Pedalo has been very useful in defining our economic model." says Adnen before adding that Pedalo is currently housed and incubated at El Space. Thus, the young members become witnesses of the development process of the start-up Pedalo. They also become aware of the support and financing mechanisms and programs of eco-innovative projects such as that of SwitchMed. Some are already turning toward green entrepreneurship, while others are beginning to earn a little money by working as couriers at Pedalo.

Watch Pedalo video et celle de El Space ici (videos are in arabic language)