Biking to improve livelihoods in Mozambique
Nearly 20 years after the end of a civil war, poverty persists in Mozambique; according to the United Nations Statistics Division, 54 percent of Mozambicans live below the poverty line. Walking is the normal mode of transportation, but is particularly challenging in rural areas. Most rural people live on less than US$1 per day and lack basic services; two-thirds have to walk more than an hour to access healthcare. It is estimated that 70 percent of Mozambicans work in the informal economy, where their incomes are generated by what they can produce usually through subsistence farming which they must then transport to market.
Mozambikes, an award-winning Mozambique-based social enterprise, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to improve the lives and livelihoods of 50,000 of the countrys poorest people through the sale of affordable branded bicycles by 2018. The company will also establish a national sales and distribution network to provide an additional 125,000 people with transportation by 2020.
Mozambikes inclusive business model involves importing bicycle components for local assembly, which are then branded the colors and logos of organizations. These companies distribute the bicycles to their stakeholders as transport, bonuses, incentives and social responsibility. Alternatively, these organizations can pay to advertise on the bicycles, allowing the company to sell bikes to consumers at below-market rates. With this Made by Mozambicans, For Mozambicans model, the companys workers take pride in building a product that will help their neighbors. The company is the first transportation provider in Mozambique that seeks to make bicycles truly affordable. Mozambikes also provides training and after-market service, including workshops for women riders and road safety campaigns in an effort to build the countrys bicycle industry.