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In rural Africa, a bicycle breakdown is a day’s wages spent on repairs, a girl stranded alone at sunset, or no access to schools and markets. For those living on less than $2 a day, this is disastrous. Baisikeli Ugunduzi – Swahili for ‘modern bicycle’ – designs and produces high quality bicycle components with the millions of rural poor who depend on bicycles to earn a living in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our social business model focuses on increasing the value of working bicycles, decreasing costs of bicycle ownership, and improving the livelihoods of everyone in our value chain.
Our first product, the milele tube, eliminates flat tires, the single biggest bicycle problem in the developing world. $3 traditional tubes typically need replacement every other week; the milele retails for $10 and lasts five+ years, adding 10-20% to working bicycle incomes. Life changing!
The milele - ‘forever’ in Swahili - has a flexible solid tube that replaces conventional pneumatic tubes. The specially shaped tube is held in place by the tire and a proprietary rubber attachment unit at the valve stem hole. This technology never flats, can be cut to length for any size wheel, and can be reused as the tires wear out.
Baisikeli Ugunduzi is built around an established partnership with bicycle taxi unions, or saccos, to help them better serve their members, resulting in innovative products designed specifically for this market. Western Kenyan bicycle taxi unions have already agreed to distribute and microfinance our products. There is real, significant potential to change lives.
Our customers are frustrated with poor quality imported products ill-designed for Africa’s demanding conditions. Our market has 100 million customers who spend $775 million annually on bicycle repairs, yet no one is developing products specifically for this market. Now is the time for a company to step in and serve this market, advocate for its customer’s welfare, and create local economic opportunities. We project sales of 8800 units in Kitale, Kenya during the first two years, then expansion into SSA with over 23 million milele units in 12 years. We have backing for $75,000 of the needed $195,000 to launch and sustain Baisikeli Ugunduzi until profitability in 23 months.
Baisikeli Ugunduzi – For people who depend on bicycles!