Judges’ Choice 2012: Zambikes

| May 4, 2012

DirectorDustin McBride
One Line DescriptionZambikes is a social business that manufactures,
assembles and distributes high quality bicycles, bicycle ambulances and cargo bicycle trailers to the underprivileged, empowering individuals to fight the mindset of poverty and address the economic and social needs of Zambia.


Enterprize Brief
Zambikes exists to transform lives by developing and providing efficient transport solutions throughout Africa Zambikes vision is to be the leading supplier of high quality and customized bicycles and accessories in the Southern African region. Zambia and most of Africa has issues with accessibility and rural transportation. We provide solutions to that problem that are custom designed and built locally, everything from an ambulance to carry a pregnant mother to the clinic for safe birth to a bicycle to help someone get to work and make more money.
OUR VALUES: Building grassroots relationships that lead to the empowerment of Zambians through job creation, skills training, and providing bicycles and bicycle accessories as tools. Aiding in sustainable economic development throughout Zambia by providing high quality bicycles and bicycle trailers that are manufactured, assembled and serviced by Zambians. Improving the quality of products imported into and products being exported from Zambia. Providing customer service as a top priority.
We are unique in that we hire uneducated and unfortunate Zambians and build there skills and capacity to help break the mindset of poverty. We build specific products to meet specific needs on the ground in Zambia.
We are a self-sustaining organization in Zambia and our goal is to replicate the Zambikes social enterprise model around the globe.

Does your venture meet the goals of the Prize?max. 250 words (40 points)*
Zambikes was created to serve the community in two ones. Internally serving the workers at Zambikes through education sponsorship, skills training, and leadership development. And secondly, the products and services rendered serve the community because bicycles and ambulances and carts help create income for any Zambian and help provide access to health care. Our carts and bicycles are used in every city around Zambia for hauling farm products from farm to market and helping people get to their jobs without paying high prices on buses. Our average age in the company is under 30 and the leaders running Zambikes are all under 35. By people in the cities and around the country using high quality bicycles and trailers, they are helping the environment by reducing smog and fuel issues and saving money for themselves. Zambikes has begun to even campaign with the local government to improve transportation in the cities by adding bike lanes and building a reputation in Zambia for cycling as a quality means of transportation and even sport (of which Zambians have only begun to be open to these things because of Zambikes efforts).

How is your venture unique and innovative? max. 200 words (20 points)*
Originally, Zambikes began on the premise of designing and building high quality bicycles at an affordable price because we saw the lack of quality bikes and how hard local Zambians are on their bikes. Through the years, we improved our design to fit the market perfect and we also added cargo hauling carts for locals to transport more goods in less time. We noticed how they stacked up their bicycles and caused them to break down and were not even able to ride them (making the commute very long). Then we saw a need to transport people from home to clinic and designed and produced Ambulance trailers to hook onto any bicycles or motorcycle for urban and rural usage. Our entire company is built on the premise that innovation mixed with experience equals the best product for a given community. By putting over 900 ambulance trailers countrywide, we are able to impact the entire country with health care access.

Is your enterprise scalable or replicable? max. 150 words (20 points)*
Zambikes is very scalable, in fact, we have begun to scale to the next level and need help to keep going. In the last year we have had partners in Malawi, Uganda, Sudan, Congo, Tanzania, and even Argentina and Brazil ask us if they can replicate a “Zambikes” model in their country. There is a process to replicate and each country has it’s own set of needs which must be assessed. We have begun development of a “franchise” style model that we intend to replicate in as many places worldwide as possible. Our goal in scaling up is to impact communities and countries by providing relevant products and continue to carry the social infrastructure model that has worked so well in Zambia.

How would you demonstrate the success of your enterprise? max. 150 words (20 points)*
Most people measure success by the numbers. It’s hard not to. We try to keep our focus more on the lives we are able to actually see transformed from a mindset of complete poverty to a confident, dignified “I can” attitude. That is hard to measure qualitatively, so here are some numbers as well.

Began in 2007: Sustainable in Zambia since 2009 Over 25 Zambians being paid, trained, and developed since 2007 Over 8,000 bicycles distributed countrywide (and in 4 neighboring countries) Over 900 Ambulance trailers and Cargo Carts distributed since 2009. Over 350 Bamboo bicycle frames built and sold since 2009. (check zambikes.org for more info on Bamboo bicycles) Tens of thousands of people have been affected through Zambikes, it s hard to count.

Partners: Akerfa (akerfa.org), Africycle Malawi (Africycle.org), Benbikes Namibia (benbikes.org/namibia), CA Bikes Uganda (cabikesuganda.org), Bicycles for Humanity, Seeds of Hope Zambia, Worldbike.org, and a few more. We spoke at Velo-City in Sevilla, Spain, 2011, and Mobility 21 in Orange County 2010 and 2011, SoCap in Holland and San Francisco in 2011, and have been at trade shows around USA and Germany.

Category: Winner

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