A significant majority of the worlds impoverished live in “rural” areas. Access to water (clean or not), good nutrition, adequate health care, education, and participation in even informal markets are problematic at best. Mobility is a critical success factor in the areas of poverty alleviation and disaster relief. In the rural setting, the bicycle clearly provides the means for going the last mile.
Increasing mobility — whether it is for transporting goods, commuting to work or school, for the provision of health care, or in support of personal/community based agendas— is a life or death matter for the developing world. Bicycles and associated micro-enterprise efforts directly affect household stability, income, health, and education.
Bicycle infrastructure — the ability to economically and efficiently distribute bicycles, replacement parts, and the provision of maintenance and repair services — is nearly absent except in "urban" environments. However, even in these areas, bicycle sales, parts sales and service (maintenance/repair) are typically disjointed and highly opportunistic.
Gary S. Becker (1992) states it well when he mentions that, "Free-markets not only lead to more freedom, but are also the best systems ever invented for raising the standard of living of the poor." ecoTruk advocates this empowering approach.
“Grassroots” driven projects are key to the developing world's ability to become independent and self-sufficient. We hope to help jumpstart a small market based approach that will allow participation by any who desire. The goal is a systematic building of an informal bicycle economy through unsubsidized supply chains, with access, participation, and usage by all interested smallholders.
Increasing mobility frees up significant time lost to walking and results in increased opportunity for individuals and communities. Whether for crop transport, health care support, getting children to school, or for entrepreneurial and micro-enterprise activities, ecoTruk will help to bridge the "last mile".
ecoTruk assists with building bicycle infrastructure at a small village level, inclusive of providing: critical accessories; spare parts; and the provision of assembly, maintenance, and repair education. Increasing both mobility and opportunity results in stronger communities.