In globalbike’s case, it began with six friends at a coffee shop and an idea that bikes could challenge some of the world’s toughest issues - and win.
Globalbike’s founders started meeting regularly in 2006 - sharing ideas and insights that would later be the foundation of globalbike.
The six members’ experiences ranged from extended travels through Africa to local bicycle advocacy—from corporate and retail marketing to classroom education. As the group discussed the overlap in their personal goals for creating positive social change in the world, they sought a way to take action - and a way to enable others to do the same. Board members Curt and Kelly had witnessed first-hand the dire conditions and overwhelming obstacles of rural community life in Africa. Monica and Jean knew the power of creative partnerships and pervasive outreach. Thomas and Eric, knew that this was a teachable moment - and one in which the simplest solution might just be the best one. Collectively the group challenged each other - pushed for clever and innovative ideas - and developed the backbone of what is now globalbike.
The group connected with international nonprofit, Project Care International, and learned that the organization had many volunteer care workers that were providing medicine, counseling, food and much more to suffering patients in their homes. The group also learned that those care workers were traveling 6 - 10 miles a day on foot to see just 3 or 4 patients. They had no other transportation available. The light bulb flashed and the goal became clear. How many more patients could they see each day if they had a more efficient way to get there?
With this, globalbike was born as a nonprofit with a mission to provide bikes to HIV/AIDS care workers in the developing world, and a plan to start in Zambia. It was a short, simple mission facing a large, complex world of problems. Yet it workedand it is still working. It works, because it is practical, and it invests in the people who are already passionately making a difference. It works because it makes great people better.
Globalbike is growing fast and taking each new opportunity in stride. In a matter of a year, the group forged a partnership with a professional cycling team, expanded into a fifth country, joined forces with new and varied partners, and gained international recognition for its efforts. With a refined mission of using the transformative power of bikes to create positive social change in the developing world, globalbike has gotten its wheels, and is cranking the simplicity of the bike into high gear.