The Rolex Award-winning Pedals for Progress (P4P) project stemmed from American David Schweidenback’s experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador in the late 1970s. The 2000 Laureate (born in 1952), president and founder of P4P, realized how the simple bicycle could transform peoples’ lives by improving productivity.
In 1991, working as a contractor and carpenter in New Jersey, he set up the non-profit organization that supplies recycled bicycles, and now sewing machines, to individuals worldwide. To date, P4P has shipped more than 117,000 bicycles and 1,000 sewing machines to 35 developing countries.
Schweidenback has readily shared his business model with others, with the result that there are more than 50 clones of P4P in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. One group in Montreal has shipped over 35,000 bicycles.
P4P is currently focusing on collecting bikes in the New York City/Philadelphia area, and continuing to expand globally.
Published in 2009