Dipetsana Women’s Bike Shop Celebrates Milestone: A New Container of Bikes Paid for by the Women!
BOTSWANA | AKP’s enterprise programs are a good example of how we approach poverty reduction. We don’t believe that providing handouts is the solution to the economic problems of our partner communities. Instead, we work toward educating, guiding, and training individuals so they can build their own businesses.
Our bike shop programs are sustainable – and successful – because we create structure and support for women to run their own enterprises. All AKP bike shops in Africa follow the same model. When a sale is made, the women set aside a fixed percentage for salaries, shop maintenance, payment of restock shipments, and even to invest back into their communities.
The Dipetsana Women’s Bike Shop in Kasane, Botswana recently celebrated a major business milestone. After selling all of the bikes in their start-up stock, funded by AKP, the women were able to pay for their first restock shipment with money strategically set aside from sales. On November 25th, the community enthusiastically gathered together to celebrate the opening of the restock container. The opening ceremony program included a police-escorted 12km bike ride through Kasane, speeches from community stakeholders, refreshments, and entertainment.
Mr. Mmetla Masire, the CEO of Water Utilities Corporation and president of Botswana Cycling Association was the guest of honor and said it all during his speech. “The Dipetsana Women’s Bike Shop is a classic example of a women empowerment and poverty eradication project in Botswana. This marks the first community bike shop that I know of and I believe the first there is in the country.” Mr. Masire also presented the women with a donation of P5000 (US$500) and encouraged the business community to support the project.