Global Cycle Solutions develops and distributes technology that improves village life. It began in 2009 as a technology company that developed and sold bicycle add-ons for farmers in Tanzania, but it has since expanded its product line to include solar lights, solar-powered phone chargers, and maize shellers.
How did you get started, and how has your work evolved?
My work really took off when I got the Baker Foundation Public Service Fellowship. I moved to Tanzania, where I worked closely with communities and soon became fluent in Swahili. In the beginning I focused only on product development, but now I mainly work on creating a network of entrepreneurs who help bring new technologies to their villages.
What impact have you achieved on the communities you serve?
Over the past three years, we've sold over 15,000 products and worked in over 300 villages. We've provided over 9,000 hand-sheller tools to farmers across East Africa and sold over 3,000 solar lanterns, which has generated nearly $1.5 million in energy savings for our users.
How did the PSC play a role in your work?
The PSC gave me an opportunity to really understand what it is to be a part of a new community. Through my fellowship, I did home stays and came to understand the challenges that farmers go through every day. I learned that I could apply my engineering skills to make a difference in the world.
How has this work had a personal impact on you?
This work has become my life's work, and I've become a bridge between communities with my fluency in Swahili, my engineering background, and my "getting things done" attitude. I just absolutely love what I do, and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
My work lives through the work of Global Cycle Solutions, and we are working on building a community. I hope some of you may become a part of our network of investors, donors, volunteers, and fellows. Thank you, MIT, for all your support.