Bicycle Shop Students - Creating Business Skills

Arsheen Dhalla has been busy doing remarkable work in Zanzibar through the Daraja Foundation. Daraja means bridge in Swahili. During one of her infrequent visits to Calgary, I had the pleasure to sit down with her and listen to her story. There are many stories to tell. For the third video in the series, we decided to focus on business skills and the bicycle empowerment center.

The first time Arsheen traveled to Zanzibar in this volunteer capacity, her work primarily focused on an orphanage and a local hospital. From that early time, Daraja concentrated on empowerment, education, and sustainability in their projects.

In the first video, we talked about a chicken and organic farm run by students. So what happens when they get a container of bicycles and some training?

Bicycles Creating Business Skills for Life

After the success of the Chicken and Organic Farm, the Daraja Foundation had the fortune to cross paths with the Calgary chapter of Bicycles for Humanity. The next initiative was born.

Like most things in business, it wasn’t entirely luck – it was through the connection of like-minded people. The result was an entire container of bicycles made it to Zanzibar, and the next student run initiative was born.

The Lazy Entrepreneur

I remember reading about the difference between a hard working entrepreneur and a lazy entrepreneur. Assuming they both want the business result the same amount, there is a significant difference in how they go about things.

The hard working entrepreneur will set up a company and then immediately go to work in the business. They get busy with the work and eventually run out of hours in a day or week. This focus on work can limit growth if they don’t stop and regroup.

The lazy entrepreneur spends the first portion of time working hard on figuring out how they can get the result without doing the work – or at least doing a lot less. They put systems and processes in place, train others, and then step back. This approach is known as working on the business.

This strategy seems to be core to the Daraja Foundation. I don’t mean to imply Arsheen is lazy. Far from it. I do sense that she has a winning formula for figuring out how to make things run well without her, so she can go on to accomplish even more.


I encourage you to watch the entire short video and hear the story directly from Arsheen Dhalla.

Helping Out at Daraja

If you found this story inspirational, you can find more at the Daraja Foundation website. Like all nonprofits, they survive off of donations in both time (volunteer information) and money (donate here).