Working Bikes Cooperative is a not-for-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 volunteer-driven organization based in Chicago, IL that aims to divert bicycles from the waste stream and put them to use in Chicago and abroad. It operates a warehouse, shipping center, repair shop and retail outlet from its location in the Pilsen neighborhood. Working Bikes mission is to provide bicycles to charity organizations in the Chicago area to benefit youth, transitioning homeless and refugees as well as to ship bicycles to the Gulf Coast and around the world.
Each year Working Bikes gives away approximately 5,000 bikes. To date Working Bikes has distributed over 50,000 bikes.
Bikes Not Bombs
Bikes Not Bombs is a Boston, Massachusetts based bicycle project which recycles donated bicycles, trains young people to fix their own bikes and become employable mechanics and sends thousands of bicycles to communities in countries such as Northern Uganda, Ghana, St. Kitts & Nevis, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Guatemala. The organization was founded in 1984 by Carl Kurz, a bicycle mechanic and Michael Replogle, a Maryland-based transportation planner. Bikes Not Bombs provided bicycles and bicycle parts to Nicaragua in opposition to the Reagan administration’s support for the Contra War, and in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people and in resistance to the U.S. trade embargo against Nicaragua in effect at the time. Mira Brown became involved with BNB’s work while in Nicaragua and later became the organization’s first Executive Director.
Since that time, Bikes Not Bombs has sent over 55,500 bicycles and parts to 14 countries in Central America, Africa and the Caribbean. Both bicycles and bicycle parts are also sent abroad to support organizations that build pedal-powered machinery (bicitecnologia) for indigenous peoples, including grain mills, concrete vibrators, and machines for pumping water and depulping coffee that use no electricity.
The organization runs multiple sessions of the Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action, amongst other youth programs, each year which teach bicycle mechanics, safety and riding to young people in the Boston area. Additionally each June they host a large Bike-A-Thon in Jamaica Plain.
Bikes Not Bombs also has a Bike Shop which sells new and used bicycles, parts, accessories and repairs.
Bikes To Rwanda
Bikes to Rwanda was a non-profit international aid relief organization established in Portland, Oregon, United States in 2006 by Stumptown Coffee Roasters founder and CEO Duane Sorenson following a business trip to visit coffee growers’ cooperatives in Rwanda.
The organization’s mission was “to provide cargo bicycles to co-operative coffee farmers in Rwanda. The goal was to improve quality of life in these communities through a bike workshop and maintenance program to provide transportation resources for basic needs and enhance production of quality coffee.”
The bicycles were built specifically for heavy cargo, and were designed and developed by Project Rwanda with master bicycle builder Tom Ritchey. The organization also established bike shops in Rwanda for maintenance and repair.
World Bicycle Refief
World Bicycle Relief is an international, non-profit organization based in Chicago, IL that specializes in large-scale, comprehensive bicycle distribution programs to aid poverty relief in developing countries around the world. Their programs focus primarily on education, economic development, and health care. As of November 2015, World Bicycle Relief has distributed more than 275,000 bicycles and trained more than 1,000 bicycle mechanics in the developing world. Within their largest program, the Bicycles For Educational Empowerment program, nearly 70 percent of the student bicycles are designated for girl students.
Studies done in Africa (Uganda and Tanzania) and Sri Lanka on hundreds of households have shown that a bicycle can increase the income for families by as much as 35%. Transport, if analyzed for the cost-benefit analysis for rural poverty alleviation, has given one of the best returns in this regard. For example, road investments in India were a staggering 3-10 times more effective than almost all other investments and subsidies in rural economies in the 1990s. What a road does at a macro level to increase transport, the bicycle supports at the micro level. The bicycle, in that sense, can be one of the best means to eradicate poverty in developing nations.
World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 by SRAM co-founder and Executive Vice President F.K. Day following the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Day and his wife, documentary photographer Leah Missbach Day, travelled to Sri Lanka to witness local relief efforts. In discussions with aid groups on the ground, they realized the potential value a bicycle distribution program, and thus created World Bicycle Relief. World Bicycle Relief then partnered with World Vision and a local manufacturer to produce and distribute bicycles specially designed to fit the needs and terrain of the recipients, a format that they would later use with other projects.
World Bicycle Relief has fundraising entities in the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.
Baisikeli Ugunduzi is a for-profit social business that specializes in bicycle components for the Sub-Saharan African market. Baisikeli Ugunduzi means innovative or modern bicycles in Swahili. It was founded in the winter of 2011 by Ben Mitchell, whom holds a MS in mechanical engineering as is currently seeking his PhD at Michigan Technological University and John Gershenson, a professor of mechanical engineering at MTU. Baisikeli Ugunduzi is headquartered in Kitale, Kenya, Africa. It is considered a for-profit social venture,[by whom?] where it develops human-centered products, which seeks to raise the income of boda boda, who rely on the bicycle as a means of livelihood.