Are you Broken Spoke’s new interim General Manager?

Role: Interim General Manager (Business Development and change management)

Contract type: Fixed Term, 1-3 days per week

Contract length: Negotiable (3-6 months)

Salary: Negotiable, a day rate is to be provided with application

Location: This role is based in Oxford though some remote working is possible.

About the role

Broken Spoke is recruiting for an interim role to lead a process of business development throughout a period of change and recovery from Covid-19. We are seeking someone with a sound knowledge of business development and retail who can work with the current staff, board, and volunteers to apply good commercial practice to our purpose-driven community bike project, including a busy workshop space.

This temporary role will be the pivot for the development of a new business model which revolves around our volunteers and our community-purpose. As well as developing and implementing this business model, this role will be responsible for managing operations, developing our governance structure, and for managing the recruitment of a permanent General Manager.

The interim General Manager will manage the fixed members of staff and an additional temporary volunteer management role, and work closely with our casual staff, board members, and extended group of volunteers. They will be responsible for ensuring this is a collaborative process and that all stakeholders feel comfortable with and excited by the development process.

The Interim General Manager role will leave behind them at Broken Spoke a better governed organisation, with a clear business plan, an empowered staff and volunteer workforce, under the leadership of a clear new management role, filled by a brilliant individual.

About Broken Spoke

Broken Spoke* is a community bike project in Central Oxford. Our staff and volunteers help people from across the city to fix and ride their bikes, and get as many people on bikes as possible through courses, training and events. Broken Spoke is for everyone and we are actively working with marginalised groups across the city to make cycling an option for anybody. We’re as much about community building and inclusivity as we are about bikes. As one of our founders puts it;

“Broken Spoke creates a safe learning space that doesn’t just allow people to defy the expectations they have of themselves or that others have of them, it smashes power structures that put them there in the first place”

We’re a community-owned organisation, accountable to our members, and working to benefit everyone in our community. Our legal structure is a Community Benefit Society with charitable objectives, and we have recognised charitable status with HMRC for tax purposes. We run on cooperative principles. Our governing document is our primary rules. It’s a lot of rules – and there’s no need to read them before you apply. But we’re a friendly bunch and will be happy to discuss any questions you have about our rules. 

We’ve been running since 2012. You can find out a bit more about what we do, and our history, on our website. As a co-operative, we also subscribe to this Statement on the Cooperative Identity – the Values and Principles. We are members of Locality.

If you’re interested in what we’ve been up to recently, here’s a short video about some of the things we’ve been up to during the Covid-19 pandemic. Plus we’ve been producing a series of blog posts on ‘why community bike projects matter’ such as this blog post from our co-founder Ellie

*Our full legal name is Broken Spoke Bicycles Limited, and our Registered Society number is 31918R 

Essential Skills for the role

  • 5+ years of business development experience
  • 2+ years in a leadership or management role
  • Experience working in or with a small charity or social enterprise
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Good communication skills
  • Good management and leadership skills

Desirable skills

  • Experience of business management within a volunteer-led organisation
  • Demonstrable experience of managing a retail business
  • An understanding of community workshops & purpose-driven businesses
  • Knowledge or experience of purpose-driven businesses and their governance structures. Including but not limited to cooperatives, community benefit societies, and community interest companies.
  • Experience of working within the cycling industry
  • Knowledge of online communication and collaboration tools such as G Drive and Slack
  • Enthusiasm for sustainable transport, people-powered change, and cycling!

About you

You’ll be joining Broken Spoke at a moment of change. We do a lot for a small organisation and our staff are driven by a love for the organisation and a commitment to what we do. Covid has hugely impacted our business and the team have been through a worrying and tiring period. The right person for the interim General Manager role will be someone who can step confidently, calmly, and reassuringly into our team and lead our ship through these choppy waters with an experienced and assured hand.

If you’re the right fit for us, you’ll be sensitive to different working styles and able to adapt your own to deliver results whilst taking into account past experiences or current capacity of others. You won’t be doing this alone. You’ll be supported by a motley crew of brilliant volunteers, and committed board members and the right person for the role will relish the challenge of figuring out how best to put this resource to use.

We are hiring you for your business experience. We need a business model for Broken Spoke that will ensure a resilient and sustainable income to nurture our staff and support the activities we love to run. Your responsibilities will lie with how we do things but we’d also like you to have an understanding and appreciation for why we do it. Broken Spoke exists to challenge ideas around empowerment, marginalisation, and space and if the idea of attaching a business model to that excites you then you’re probably the right person for us.

How to apply – Please send us a CV and cover letter, including a brief outline of your suggested approach to this role to, with the subject line, ‘General Manager application’. Your letter should include a proposed day rate or expected salary for this period of work and a clear set of deliverables to be provided in return for your fee. We would like to know whether you are able to offer any pro-bono support or discount to your standard fee in reflection of the nature and purpose of Broken Spoke, though this is not an essential requirement. Please also tell us your availability for a period of 3-6 months and a possible start date.

The deadline for applicants is the 16th November and interviews will take place between 23rd November and 4th December. The ideal candidate will be ready to start in early January.  If you would like to discuss the role with one of our board members, please email

We’re also recruiting an interim Volunteer Manager! Want more info? Check out the ad here.