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Unique bike design solutions

Jan's bike shop

Jan Willem Deyman owns a bike shop in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

To start with, it was just an ordinary shop. But when his wife became pregnant for the second time, he realised that she would need a special way to transport herself and two children around town. So he started to make specialist bikes that solved this type of problem.

One of his first customers was a mother with a disabled child. How could they travel safely and easily on a bicycle? To solve their problem, he made a special bike with a large chair on the back that could be detached easily and wheeled safely into shops and homes.

Today Jan employs 50 people in five workshops. Many of those he employs have learning difficulties, little or no school education, or are guest workers from Turkey, Morocco, Africa and South America. However, once they are working for him, they are all equals, as Jan explains: ‘Once in my shop, all my people are engineers. We talk a lot. And listen a lot. We do a lot.’

By responding to his customers’ needs and drawing on the ideas and experience of people from around the world, Jan has developed a range of successful, sustainable transport solutions.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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