Mobility = Social Enterprise
World Bicycle Relief’s Buffalo Bicycle has earned a reputation for durability, functionality and affordability - organizations, businesses and individuals across Sub-Saharan Africa turn to WBR for proven solutions to their transportation needs. This local demand inspired World Bicycle Relief to launch Buffalo Bicycles, a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary of WBR which operates as a social enterprise. Our first customers were organizations who wanted to use our bicycles to improve outcomes for their own healthcare and economic empowerment programs in Zambia.
Headquartered in Africa, Buffalo Bicycles sells our bicycles, spare parts and mechanics training in Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; we have also developed distribution partnerships in Angola, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa, and we export to neighboring countries. Running a social enterprise helps us reduce the cost of our programs by spreading shared costs, such as shipping, assembly, and facility space over a larger number of bicycles. Furthermore, sales help World Bicycle Relief reach more people with basic, reliable transportation than we could through donations alone.
Currently, most of our customers are non-profits who use our bicycles to improve efficiency in their healthcare programs. For example, STEPS OVC, a USAID-funded program that cares for Zambian children affected by HIV/AIDS, purchases bicycles to help volunteer caregivers visit the children at home and transport them to the clinic when necessary.
Other organizations that use our bicycles to achieve their missions include UNICEF (Zimbabwe), CARE (Kenya), World Vision (Mozambique), Catholic Relief Services (Zambia), Wellshare International (Uganda), and the World Food Programme (South Sudan).
Light Gives Heat
Light Gives Heat (LGH), is one of many non-profits that purchase World Bicycle Relief bicycles to aid their organization’s mission. LGH was founded in 2007 by Dave and Morgan Hansow after a lengthy adoption process to bring home their child from Uganda was delayed. Taking a leap of faith, Dave and Morgan left everything behind in Colorado, moving to Uganda to complete the adoption of their second child as well as create a non-profit to meet the real needs of the Ugandan people. They began the SUBBI (hope) project offering displaced women from war-torn Northern Uganda the opportunity to earn a consistent income through the sale of colorful handmade paper jewelry, clothing, and bags.
Light Gives Heat provides World Bicycle Relief Buffalo Bicycles to empower Africans through the encouragement of economic sustainability and creative endeavors. The organization now employs over 115 women in Uganda. Learn More >
In the News
Stephane Fitch examines the work of World Bicycle Relief in his Forbes article, "Can This Bicycle Save Lives in Africa?", Barron's lists World Bicycle Relief as the World's 12 Most Effective Philanthropy, and F.K. Day shares the Social Enterprise story with Andrew England of the Financial Times.