FORBES: Can Bicycles Relieve Poverty? World Bicycle Relief Says Yes

Jim Vinoski

My visit last summer with the great folks at SRAM, the bicycle parts makers headquartered in Chicago, was valuable in many ways. One of my most rewarding lessons during the trip was the introduction I received to World Bicycle Relief (WBR), an organization co-founded by one of the co-founders of SRAM. The two share office space there in the Windy City.

“It’s hard for those of us in developed nations to realize what a difference a bicycle can make,” said Dave Neiswander, CEO of WBR. “It’s an important tool – it can mean a mother getting her sick child to a clinic, or a farmer getting his produce to market before it spoils. For students who have to travel 10 or 20 miles each way to school, it can change their opportunities. For girls especially, it can change their bargaining power. A bicycle will be one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable, possessions for that household.”

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