Founder of Working Bikes... By Andrew Severino
Working Bikes is a charitable organization founded by Lee Ravenscroft and his colleagues in 1999. Ravencroft's business takes used bikes from around the Chicago area and refurbishes them in shops. The company then donates the bikes to local homeless shelters or impoverished countries over seas. Working Bikes has redistributed 38,000 bikes since it opened. Working Bikes' convenient drop - off locations are a major reason why the organization has been so successful.
What Inspired Ravenscroft?
Lee Ravenscroft has always been an avid bike rider. He believes that bike riding is the most efficient and healthy way of transportation. Lee started to realize that many old bikes are left deserted to rust in basements all over the country. Because of this, he decided to promote bike culture through charity. His charity would share his love for riding bikes with those who were less fortunate than him. After some research, he and a few others learned that a lack of reasonable transportation was an ongoing problem in countries like Guatemala and Uganda. His organization would help end the struggle.
Lee Ravenscroft and Philip Knight
Lee Ravenscroft and Philip Knight share both similarities and differences. Both Knight and Ravenscroft incorporated their interests that they into their businesses. It is important to not just start a business for the sake of starting a business. An entrepreneur must have personal connection to the field of the business they are creating. Lee was passionate about bike riding and Philip was passionate about track and field. Another similarity between the two entrepreneurs is that they both conduct business in countries all over the world. They do so in different ways; however, there is a global aspect to both companies. A difference between the Philip Knight and Lee Ravenscroft is that Working bikes is a charitable company, while Nike makes significant profits. Also, Ravenscroft is a social entrepreneur that is not running his own business to make money. While Knight created his business to simply make a living. Lastly, Ravenscroft's idea is more original and spontaneous than Philip Knight's. Working Bikes was the first business of it's kind, whereas Nike is similar to companies like Adidas and Under Armour. As you can see, the two entrepreneurs share both similarities and differences.