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The solution: Startup social enterprise Baisikeli Ugunduzi (“innovative bicycle”) has invented a product to help rid bicyclists of one chronic transportation challenge—the flat tire. The new bicycle tube replaces the traditional models with a flexible, solid tube that lasts for up to five years and can be fitted to any size bicycle. Through strong relationships with Kenyan bike taxi unions and bicycle taxi drivers, Baisikeli Ugunduzi will continue to develop quality, affordable bicycle components.
Potential cost-efficiency: Traditional bicycle tubes cost $3 and need to be replaced every few weeks when riding on Kenya's rough terrain. The Baisikeli Ugunduzi tubes cost just over $10 for up to five years of use, and can be financed at 25 cents per day. Baisikeli Ugunduzi targets a 20% rise in incomes for its users.
Getting from A to B in rural Sub-Saharan Africa can be no small feat. Where infrastructure is sparse, bicycles can provide a critical alternative to those whose health and prosperity depend on their ability to move. For Kenya’s bicycle taxis, they are a direct source of livelihood. Traditional approaches to supplying the demand for bicycles is by giving away donated bicycles that are often incompatible with local replacement parts, selling high-quality bicycles for too high a price, and selling low-price, poor-quality bicycles that require expensive upkeep.
Startup social enterprise Baisikeli Ugunduzi (“innovative bicycle”) launched in Winter 2011 to fill the market gap for high quality, affordable bicycle products in the developing world. Their first product, the milele bicycle tube, never needs air or patching; it is a flexible, solid tube that can fit any bike wheel and will last up to five years. The product eliminates the possibility of flat tires – a challenge that can cost people who depend on bicycles up to 25% of their incomes.
With DIV stage 1 funding, Baisikeli Ugunduzi will bring the milele tube to its first test market of Kitale, Kenya. Baisikeli Ugunduzi will perform the final round of large-scale testing with Kenya’s bicycle taxis, and begin initial production and sales through the local bicycle taxi union and local shops.
The Baisikeli Ugunduzi products cost just over $10, and can be financed for bicycle taxi union members at 25 cents per day. Baisikeli Ugunduzi targets a 20% rise in incomes for its customers.
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Last updated: April 07, 2013