Welcome to Copenhagen Cycles
Let me tell you all about Copenhagen Cycles and why we exist. But first things first: The purpose of Copenhagen Cycles is 1) to get trishaws out to all corners of the world, and 2) to fund Cycling Without Age.
I founded Copenhagen Cycles in 2016, together with Dorthe Pedersen, because at the time it was either impossible or very difficult to get hold of trishaws in many countries around the world such as the USA, Canada and Australia. Every day we would be contacted by someone who wanted to start a chapter of Cycling Without Age in a country where trishaws weren’t available, and this led us to set up Copenhagen Cycles with its dual purpose. We needed a bank loan to get us started (to cover stock and VAT outlays), so we had to set up Copenhagen Cycles as a private company and the owners had to guarantee the loan personally, as we do to this day.
We keep the CWA wheels turning
We committed all Copenhagen Cycles’ profits to Cycling Without Age, and the pledge from the start was to donate all proceeds to CWA, which has been honoured since day 1. No dividends have ever been paid out. As an Ashoka Fellow, I am further committed to reinvest for at least 10 years any surplus or revenue of Copenhagen Cycles — excluding a reasonable salary — into the enterprise or related project or into other social beneficial aims.
Copenhagen Cycles is by far the biggest funder of Cycling Without Age, and it doesn’t make demands or impose an agenda on Cycling Without Age or how funds are allocated, such as the case with most grants from governments or foundations. We hope we’ve found a way to keep our non-profit independent from political or religious agendas while bringing more trishaws into the world.
A trishaw bought from Copenhagen Cycles helps support Cycling Without Age because we fund all and any project of the non-profit Cycling Without Age. There is no cost associated with being an affiliate of Cycling Without Age, and affiliates and members are not required to buy a trishaw from Copenhagen Cycles. We recognize that it’s an individual choice where each CWA chapter buys a trishaw. We take pride in accepting a variety of trishaw models to the market, some of which we have no connection with. It felt scary at first, but we realized early on that it’s the only way mobility is earned to those in need.
What do you help fund?
With the funding from Copenhagen Cycles…
— Cycling Without Age has helped over 1,000 local chapters of Cycling Without Age around the world get started with their local program. Becoming an affiliate is free of charge.
— Cycling Without Age has helped over 20 country chapters in the process of forming and incorporating in their country. More country chapters are being helped right now and will receive support in the future.
— Cycling Without Age has helped develop all major trishaw models in the global program. Over the past 7 years, Cycling Without Age has been approached by multiple trishaw developers and manufacturers and have been asked to be involved in and give feedback on models of trishaws to become more attractive to care homes. CWA has in fact been involved with the design of the Christiania (the only version available from 2012 to 2015), the Triobike, the Nihola and the Chat from Van Raam as well as 8 other models, most of which never made it to market. The time and effort of improving trishaw designs is benefitting CWA affiliates worldwide.
— Cycling Without Age has built, is further developing and maintaining a comprehensive IT platform consisting of a WordPress content management system to host all global websites, as well as a community of practice, freely available to the entire ecosystem of Cycling Without Age worldwide, called The Hood.
— Cycling Without Age radically innovates to bring trishaws out to less affluent countries and regions around the world. In March 2020, a group of students from WPI in Massachusetts started a project, hosted by Cycling Without Age to work on a project called “Openshaw”, and they are just the first group on this project with more to follow. The idea is to create a platform, where affiliates will be able to download the design of the trishaw and have it built locally. The same people who own Copenhagen Cycles are the ones who are hosting this project, however, Copenhagen Cycles is not involved in the open-source project and won’t profit from it.
I sincerely thank you for supporting Cycling Without Age by purchasing your trishaw from Copenhagen Cycles.
Copenhagen Cycles ApS
Otto Busses Vej 5, 1.
2450 København SV
Phone: +45 31341980 and +45 53621979
Pernille Vedersø Bussone 50%
Bouncing Back ApS (Ole Kassow) 50%
My name is Ole Kassow, and I’m the co-founder of both Cycling Without Age and Copenhagen Cycles.
I’m an advocate of doing good, I believe relationships should be a human right, and I’m passionate about cycling. My father was in a wheelchair my whole life, and he taught me the importance of mobility and of being respectful to people with disabilities. After having worked as a consultant and in sales, I changed my path years ago and created the company Purpose Makers, and in 2012 I founded Cycling Without Age. To my surprise, in 2016 I was approached by the Ashoka network and in 2017 after 8 months of scrutiny, I was proudly able to call myself an Ashoka Fellow.
Ashoka identifies and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an “everyone a changemaker world.”