Published: August 22, 2016

Meet Bernice Dapaah – a young entrepreneur from Ghana who decided to build eco-friendly bikes to not only help the environment, but to improve the lives of those living in her community!

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Bernice (on the left), the founder of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative.

By: Robyn Detoro

While studying for a degree in Business Administration, Bernice decided she wanted to take control of her future and build a business where she would be responsible for every element of the company. After graduating, Bernice’s journey to be her own boss took her back to her home town of Kumasi, where the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative was born.

The initiative uses mainly natural resources – such as bamboo – to create a more sustainable mode of transport for people to be able to get to school or work. And the great part? For every bamboo tree Bernice’s team uses, they plant 10 more to replace it!

The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is definitely a success story; reducing local pollution, helping people living in rural areas get to work, providing jobs locally, and, in turn, helping to reduce poverty.

Here are 3 reasons why we can get behind Bernice and her bikes:

  1. They’re eco-friendly

Locally sourced bamboo

Locally sourced bamboo. Photo Credit: UN.

The Ghanaian company is able to take advantage of locally sourced resources by using bamboo to build the entire frame of the bike. Conscious that they would be consuming large amounts of local bamboo, Bernice plants 10 new bamboo plants for every 1 plant that is cut down! By building the bikes out of bamboo instead of steel or aluminium, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced making the bikes friendly for everyone, everywhere.

  1. They’re helping children get to school


School children receiving bamboo bikes! Photo credit: Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative.

 A product of education, Bernice is using her eco-friendly bamboo bikes to enable children to go to school. Some children in the community walk long distances to get to school, meaning they are often late, reducing their time to learn. Bernice donates bikes to them so they are able to focus on their education and maximise their time in the classroom.

  1. They’re empowering women

Local women working in the bike shop

Local women learning how to make the bamboo bike. Photo Credit: UN.

Not only is she enabling children to make learning a priority, Bernice is responsible for boosting the community’s local economy by employing locals to harvest and plant bamboo, build the bikes, and sell them to markets around the world. Oh, and did we mention that Bernice also made sure women were hired to be a part of her team of 35 employees so ‘they can do something on their own, rather than being at home looking after their husband’?

Two thumbs up, Ghana Bamboo Bikes, two thumbs up.