Book Line, a textbook rental company from Barbados, is established on the notion of social value and the reduction of the cost of education on the island, the Caribbean and in the Americas.
Like any other start-up, Book Line begins as a great idea and a lot of passion from the company's founders, Chenika Moore, Ivan Cox, Kevin Bishop and Rochelle Walrond. They began renting and buying back tertiary level textbooks and have now added a number of other services to benefit the company and its clients. These include the Rent-Back Programme that allows customers to sell their used textbooks via Book Line, as well as a line of pre/primary school supplies, course material, accessories, college apparel and supplies.
We first met Book Line at the Caribbean Innovation Challenge 2013 (CIC) Finals in Barbados in April 2013, where they presented a great idea that was beginning to take off. The four young entrepreneurs became one of the winners of the CIC 2013, showing an amazing team spirit and an excellent work ethic but still had a long way to go. Two months later, May 2013, they presented a better and more complete start-up at the Talent and Innovation Challenges of the Americas (TIC Americas 2013) Finals in Guatemala. And when we saw them again at the Eco-Entrepreneur program in Washington D.C. in August 2013, they were more than an idea in progress, they were expanding their business.
In an interview, Kevin Bishop, Co-Founder and CTO: "We see the impact of the programmes coordinated by YABT, every day as we create, innovate and move forward. Entrepreneurship programmes like [Youth-IN CIC, TIC Americas, and Eco-Entrepreneur] are a positive platform for the youth, where the foundation of our dreams can be built; whereby, developing robust strengths in business ideals towards our sustained progress. It encourages us and ensures that our ideals and our actions can have a positive reaction in the world and will enable us to make a difference."
As Book Line continues to look for a positive social impact, the company is focused on creating and finding innovative ways to combat poor economic conditions that stop individuals from having access to an education. Not only this, they also look to have a positive environmental impact. Firstly, through the recycling and reuse of textbooks thus the reduction of the use of paper; and secondly, by developing an eBooks platform.
When asked to give advice to other social and environmental entrepreneurs, Mr. Bishop said: "Our advice to other young entrepreneurs will be to learn, love and enjoy the journey of making your dream into a successful reality. Although, economic sustainability is desirable, let it not be your primary motivator; think not only of your own wallet but about the difference and value you can have on the lives of people around you."