WHERE WE BEGAN
It started with a bicycle....
OUR FOUNDER'S STORY
The Cycle Connect story begins with a single bicycle that our co-founder, Muyambi, encountered during his childhood in Uganda. Muyambi realized the immense potential that a bicycle could have for a rural family in a developing country. He turned that realization into action.
It Started With A Bicycle
Cycle Connect originated as Bicycles Against Poverty. Our journey began with a single bicycle when our founder discovered the empowerment, freedom, and opportunity that a bicycle could bring in Uganda. As a lease-to-own bicycle organization, we saw how bicycles were used to create access to critical resources, increase income, and improve rural livelihoods.
In 2007, Muyambi attended Bucknell University. During his time at Bucknell, he founded Bicycles Against Poverty as a student club on campus to raise awareness about the lack of access in Uganda and to do something about it. Here, he met Molly Burke, fellow Bucknell student and current CEO of Cycle Connect, and the two partnered together to discover innovative solutions to the problem.
Full-Time Operations Begin
In 2014, Molly Burke moved from New York city to northern Uganda to open an office and launch full-time operations. The BAP team distributed 250 lease-to-own bicycles in the first year.
From 2014-2017, the BAP team distributed 2,000 bicycles. The bicycles were used to create access to critical resources, increase income, and improve rural livelihoods. During this time we realized that 100% of our clients were farmers lacking sufficient tools on their farms and a bicycle was a great first step to improve their livelihoods but they needed more.
Expansion of Portfolio
BAP realized that we could take the success we saw with bicycles and apply to other products to create more opportunities for our clients and to grow our impact. In 2018, we expanded our product offering to include more income-generating assets (oxen & plow, grinding machines, motorcycles) that our clients can invest in to propel them forward.
In 2019, Bicycles Against Poverty rebranded to Cycle Connect with the mission of increasing income for smallholder farmers via productive asset-financing and training.