What does Baisikeli Ugunduzi mean?
Baisikeli Ugunduzi is Swahili for innovative or modern bicycles.
Are you a non-profit?
No. Baisikeli Ugunduzi is a for profit company. While there are many great non- profits out there, we strongly believe that if we are a venture selling bicycle components, we must introduce products that stand on their own. Sustainability has been our focus. We cannot rely on donations to make our products affordable to our customers. The Milele Tube will pay for itself more than 10 times in the first year of ownership.
What is a social business?
A social business is one that has social motives as its bottom line rather than profitability. Baisikeli Ugunduzi will remain a sustainable business, but we will judge our success by how we impact the lives of people who depend on bicycles. As a social business, we must offer products that allow for higher profits throughout the distribution chain and products that truly change people’s lives.
Who is Baisikeli Ugunduzi?
It all started with Ben and John. Ben lives in Kitale and runs everything every day. John goes back and forth from Michigan and keeps us moving ahead. It’s Jackie, who drives the web page, Facebook page, marketing, and packaging. It's also Joseph the best mechanic in Western Kenya. Susan and Kabole, at New Generation Cycle Mart teach us all about bicycle retail in Kenya. Geoffrey, our lead product tester, is the hardest working boda boda in Kenya. Charles, the Boss, the Baisikeli Ugunduzi cycling team, and the rest of the product testers have been key parts of our team as well.
What does milele mean?
Milele is Swahili for forever.
Are you selling tubes now?
Milele Tubes are available at two locations in Kitale - The Trans-Nzoia Boda Boda Sacco near the Super Loaf Factory and at the New Generation Cycle Mart, just down the street.
Contact us for more details.
Is it just tubes?
The Milele Tube is just Baisikeli Ugunduzi’s first product. We think it is a great way to enter the market. We have already developed two other products that will be introduced into the Kitale market in the future. Baisikeli Ugunduzi plans to grow by expanding geographically (from Kitale to all of sub-Saharan Africa), by expanding our catalog (we will have a whole suite of products), and by expanding our customer base (from those who earn a living on their bicycles to anyone who rides). Our catalog will eventually contain a suite of products that, when all used, will effectively double the income of our customers.
Do you have real evidence of people saving money with milele tubes?
Yes. Charles has been using Milele Tube to haul heavy loads for almost three months without a single flat. He says that his daily income went from 200 shillings (about $2.50) to 300 shillings ($3.50) because of the tubes. Isaac, who hauls potatoes from Kitale to Eldoret (75km), was able to make that trip with no flats. That allowed him to make the round trip in one day for the first time, so he could take another load the next day. Most boda boda testers are saving about 40-50 shillings a day out of their 200 shilling income.
Do you make motorcycle tubes?
No. Baisikeli Ugunduzi is a strong believer in the power of bicycles for those that are looking to improve their lives. Bicycle boda boda are driven by the poorest of those trying to earn a living and those who can only afford the cheapest mode of transportation ride them. These are the people to whom Baisikeli Ugunduzi is dedicated.
What is Kitale like?
Kitale is a great, friendly, agricultural town situated near one of Kenya’s most untrafficked parks, which is home to the elusive cave elephants.
Come see for yourself!
Why did you choose Kenya?
Kenya was chosen for its industriousness, the origination of the bicycle taxi, economic robustness, and vibrant culture. But the more we think about it, the more it seems that Kenya kind of chose Baisikeli Ugunduzi.
Why don’t we give away the tubes?
Giving away tubes isn’t a solid business plan. A social business model will allow us to bring products to market at a better than fair price, and still encourage local economies rather than circumvent them.
What pressure do Milele Tubes ride at?
After testing with boda boda, commuters, and people carrying heavy loads we have designed the Milele Tube to ride similar to a tire with 65 psi. This is the preferred riding pressure of most cyclists. The tubes work great in both the front and rear tires and have been used to carry loads of over 100 kg.