Our awesome new partners in Kenya are calling their project the Bicycle Enterprise Development Programme. With near perfect alignment with our own goals at the Mike's Bikes Foundation, they're all about creating sustainable employment in the cycling industry in Kenya through "starting more bicycle enterprises and/or making sure the ones that are already existing are sustainable in the long run by regularly supplying the shops with resources." Through the project, they're also promoting the use of bicycles through doing regular events, training youth in mechanic skills, and improving access to cycling equipment and services around Nairobi, and eventually, all of Kenya. Mirroring our successful model in Botswana, Fredrick and his team in Nairobi are partnering with both existing and new locally-owned community bike shops to step up their game, and to maintain regular supply of used bikes and equipment. Fredrick says it best: "In short we are saying, the more bike shops we have in Kenya, the easier it becomes to access affordable equipment, accessories and services, which also makes the use of bicycle more convenient for people, therefore making more people to use the bike. This will create more employment directly and indirectly and therefore also contribute in the reduction of poverty. And also when many people take up cycling our environment becomes safe due to reduced air pollution." We really love these guys!!
In the pictures below, Fredrick's group, Cycloville Kenya, are distributing to local bike shop owners, and also directly to some local residents in the Mathare slums. Cycloville has known many of the more established shop owners before, but the shops lack adequate finance to purchase the bikes for resale. In these cases, Cycloville is providing a micro-lending structure, as well as mentoring and monitoring on best practices for running a successful shop.
The green container from Mike's Bikes is being modified into a workshop and local bike store. It will become a Bicycle Enterprise Development Center where Nairobi youth will be trained about mechanics and basic business skills to run bike shops.
We couldn't be more proud of the quick progress made by our incredible partners in Kenya!