By Pamela Chow

Pavielle Babai-Pirouz is the owner of a bustling pedicab business, High Tach Hippie, in Austin, Texas, where she oversees a fleet of pedicabs rented out to drivers. Pedicabs, essentially bicycle taxis, provide a unique and eco-friendly mode of transportation around the city. Pavielle’s journey began in 2008 when she started as a pedicab driver herself. In 2021, fueled by her years of experience and knowledge, she made the leap to start her own company. Seizing an opportunity, she acquired a pedicab business that was being sold, instantly expanding her fleet to 32 pedicabs to begin her journey.

Pavielle shares her experience as an EGBI client.

How did you hear about EGBI?

I was looking for an accountant and my accountant recommended EGBI. I needed help organizing my money flow. While I could manage it myself being a small company, I needed assistance in learning how to do it effectively.

How has EGBI helped you?

EGBI has been instrumental in various aspects. They taught me accounting, how to build a website, and even how to hire a lawyer. Moreover, they helped in connecting me with the Chamber of Commerce, which is quite similar to EGBI in terms of networking for entrepreneurs. However, the Chamber of Commerce mainly deals with established businesses rather than EGBI that works with both ideas and established business owners. I attended all the workshops they offered.

What are you working on now?

Currently, my business has outgrown its current property, so I’m looking to expand to a new location. In the pedicab industry, the drivers pay me in order to rent the pedicab. To make it more appealing for drivers to choose my company, I plan to offer better amenities at the new facility, like air conditioning, showers, and even bunk beds for naps. This new shop could also serve as a landing place for drivers coming from out of town for events in Austin.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

The freedom that comes with entrepreneurship was a big inspiration for me. Being able to set my own schedule and pace was something I valued, which I experienced as a pedicab driver. Initially, I was terrified to start my own business due to fear of failure and self-doubt, especially with challenges like reading difficulties. However, technology and mentorship from the previous owner helped me overcome those hurdles.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Managing drivers is one of my biggest challenges. Many of them have diverse interests in their lives, and some aspire to be musicians or pursue artistic endeavors. Balancing their aspirations while maintaining the efficiency of the business can be a delicate task. It’s important to maintain respect and understanding, especially when dealing with individuals with artistic inclinations.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice would be to embrace criticism and feedback, even from those who may sound like they’re tearing you down. I learned to convert negative feedback into something positive, acknowledging problems and working to address them. Worrying about things that can change is futile; instead, focus on making those changes. And for things beyond your control, learn to accept and adapt without unnecessary worry.

Find the Spanish version here.