How we've helped Happ-Ebike
Dean and the team provide electric bikes and cycle equipment to holidaymakers and locals.
Until you talk to people who are professional or in a business environment, there are certain things that you overlook.
How we helped
Happ-Ebike Kernow founder Dean Lambart says Growth Hub has provided some much-needed assistance up a steep business hill.
Launching his own company was completely new territory for Dean, who was working in the charity sector when he decided on a change direction in life.
“I wanted to do something for the environment, something I enjoyed, something I loved and I’ve always been active,” said keen cyclist Dean, describing how he came up with the idea of an electric bike hire company. “And coming to Cornwall... it’s a lot of hills.”
Happ-Ebike - named after the expression on people’s faces when they power up a hill on two wheels for the first time -provides electric bikes and cycle equipment to holidaymakers and locals.
Dean takes the bike to the customer so they can enjoy a trip to the parts of Cornwall cars can’t always reach. Dean can then collect and recharge the bike, ready for another ride out the following day, if needed.
The idea for Happ-Ebikes was sound, but Dean knew he needed help to power it forward. He had heard of the Growth Hub’s and decided to contact the organisation for help.
“They kind of pushed me in the right direction,” said Dean, who quickly realised starting a business is about much more than a great idea. Growth Hub encouraged him to join an online workshop to find out more about finances, marketing and customer bases before offering him guidance on where to apply for grants and find other supportive organisations.
“It’s a good rabbit hole to go down,” said Dean, explaining how one piece of advice led to another. “If you keep going down the rabbit holes and keep asking for the help and keep asking them to point you in the right direction, they’ll usually have an avenue for that.
“Until you talk to people who are professional or in a business environment, there are certain things that you overlook.”
Dean says it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day needs of a start-up and it pays to talk to the right people who can provide assurance on what can be a complicated journey.
He says the team of experts at Growth Hub have been instrumental in helping him to get a viable business plan together, making sure every base was covered.
“Sometimes you have to throw yourself in at the deep end, but they helped with the shallow!” said Dean. “And they were really encouraging. That was the biggest thing from the Growth Hub.
“It’s made me more understanding of how business works. I’m already very passionate about cycling, passionate about the environment and making sure people have a good time – that’s why it’s called Happ-Ebike – but they gave me a little bit more zest for the business side of it.”
It’s onwards and upwards now. Dean hopes to branch out with his bikes and reach more holidaymakers across Cornwall’s campsites. He would also like to team up with other activity providers in the region.
He said he would recommend getting in touch with the Growth Hub to anyone in Cornwall who has an idea they want to make work.
“Not only will they encourage you,” says Dean. “They’ll show you that there’s a lot more to running a business than just the passion and practical side.”
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub from May 2016 - June 2023 was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership. The project received £2,848,591.49 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.