Duofu Care and Services Co., Ltd.
Only environments have obstacles, not people
Enterprise/business philosophy and objectives of the founder
“A society only centred on healthy people is not a healthy one.” Founder Jeff Hsu first discovered the inadequacy of accessible services in Taiwan because of his grandmother’s health requirements, and started looking for a solution.
Finally, in 2009, he established Duofu, the first specialised shuttle service for people who use wheelchairs in Taiwan. Providing shuttles suited to medical and travel needs for people who require extra care when it comes to their mobility, such as those who are pregnant, young, old or use wheelchairs, Duofu upholds the service principle of “total connection in an accessible environment”. Its transport services allow people with limited mobility to independently manage their travel requirements.
History of development/business model
Currently, Duofu primarily provides three services: a point-to-point shuttle service, accessible tourism, and assistive device rental. At the same time, it also provides tailored services based on specific needs, such as election day shuttles, etc.
Its services have four innovations. Firstly, “no status restrictions” means that passengers do not need to possess a Disability Card or any other proof of status. Instead, any person with limited mobility can book the service. Secondly, “no need for prior bookings” means that no matter whether it is a short-term requirement or an urgent situation, there are no rules relating to booking a certain number of days ahead, and a vehicle can be arranged for any time. Thirdly, “no area restrictions” means that Duofu can provide inter-city shuttle services to those with limited mobility – it’s service is entirely free of area restrictions. Fourthly,
“no restrictions on purpose” implies that apart from basic medical, education, care for the elderly and employment needs, it also provides services for people with limited mobility to visit their friends and relatives, and engage in leisure activities and tourism.
Creating social value/mitigating social problems
Duofu has grown significantly. Not only is it one of the first social enterprises to trade its stock over the counter as a publicly-held company, in 2012, it was also invited by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, to be responsible for developing Rehabus stair climber service operation rules and content for accessible tourism regulations.
At present, Duofu provides services to an average of four groups of travellers visiting Taiwan every month. Over the last few years, it has provided services to visitors from Europe, the United States, Japan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Macau – a total of 200 people. In the past, it has organised an annual assembly for global mouth and foot painters, been responsible for the visit to Taiwan by the famous writer Hirotada Ototake, who has a physical disability, and even taken travellers on a 5 day Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage Procession. In this way, it has become Taiwan’s model brand for building accessible tourism in Asia.