World Bicycle Relief Wins $250,000 Lipman Family Prize

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AÇEV and The Global FoodBanking Network Win $50,000 Each

PHILADELPHIA, April 29, 2019 — World Bicycle Relief has been named as the winner of the 2019 Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize. Chosen from more than 100 applicants around the globe, Chicago-based World Bicycle Relief mobilizes people through the Power of Bicycles by making and donating durable bicycles to school children, farmers, and health care workers in rugged, rural environments. As the 2019 winner, World Bicycle Relief will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds. Honorees AÇEV and The Global FoodBanking Network will receive $50,000 each. All three organizations will also receive executive training and support from the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania.

“We were extremely impressed with World Bicycle Relief’s market-based model and their aptitude for organizational sustainability,” said Umi Howard, founding director of the Lipman Family Prize at the University of Pennsylvania. “World Bicycle Relief is truly a trailblazing organization that is empowering great change on many levels.”

Founded in 2005 by FK Day, co-founder of a successful bicycle components manufacturing company (SRAM) in Chicago, IL, World Bicycle Relief has distributed more than 450,000 specially-designed Buffalo Bicycles in 20 countries, primarily in Africa and Southeast Asia. Funding comes from both donations and bicycle sales, making their financial model innovative, sustainable, and scalable.

“We are delighted to join the Lipman Family Prize community of social change agents around the world,” said Andrew Batchelor, Institutional Markets Leader for the Chicago-based non-profit. “We look forward to learning from fellow honorees, such as iDE and myAgro, because their scaling strategies are also market-based.”

“World Bicycle Relief’s ability to empower people with pedal power is absolutely inspiring,” said Barry Lipman, founder of the Lipman Family Prize. “Their market-supported model means they’re supporting not just the recipients of donated bicycles, but an entire cottage industry of local bicycle mechanics, assemblers, and retailers.”

About the 2019 Honorees

  • World Bicycle Relief mobilizes people through The Power of Bicycles. They envision a world where distance is no longer a barrier to independence and livelihood. $250K winner
  • AÇEV’s (Mother Child Education Foundation) mission is to make a lasting contribution to society by supporting the development of children and their environments through education starting from early years. $50K winner
  • Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is a nonprofit organization that nourishes the world’s hungry through launching & strengthening food banks in more than 30 countries. $50K winner

In addition to the $250,000 financial prize – which is offered to the winner without restrictions – all three Lipman Family Prize honorees gain access to a growing network of change makers and thought leaders to accelerate cutting-edge change worldwide. The Prize connects those on the cusp of great change with resources, skills, and people-power to expand the impact and influence of their ideas. Benefits include an executive education program, an exclusive opportunity to apply for the Lipman Nonprofit Leadership Scholarship in the School of Social Policy & Practice, pro-bono consultation from University faculty and staff, peer learning events, as well as expert- and student-driven research to inform and guide their work.

About the Lipman Family Prize

First awarded in 2012, the Lipman Family Prize at the University of Pennsylvania is an annual global prize that advances creative solutions by inspiring people to think together in new ways. Administered by the Wharton School on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania, the Prize is committed to resourcing and connecting change-makers to bring innovative ideas to new places and problems around the world. Previous winners include iDE, READ Global, Breakthrough, Riders for Health, Soccer without Borders, Women Against Abuse, and MyAgro.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is shaping the future of business by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world. With a faculty of more than 235 renowned professors, Wharton has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students. Each year, 18,000 professionals from around the world advance their careers through Wharton Executive Education’s individual, company-customized, and online programs. More than 98,000 Wharton alumni form a powerful global network of leaders who transform business every day. For more information, visit