Ghanaian bamboo bicycle social enterprise Booomers has outlined plans to begin exporting deeper into Europe, including the UK.
The man behind the project, Kwabena Danso, started the enterprise’s journey in 2007 having co-founded a non-Governmental rural community development organisation dubbed the Yonso project. Delivering educational opportunities and scholarships to young people proved rewarding, but it was quickly established that generating employment and revenues would have to follow, further allowing local re-investment.
Kwabena explored a range of possible business ideas, and came across a programme run by leading American bike frame designer Craig Calfree, who had done development work on modern high quality bamboo bike frames. Craig offered a programme in the USA for African entrepreneurs interested in learning bamboo bike frame manufacture: skills which they could take back to their home countries, and take advantage of local bamboo, which grows widely across Africa, in order to develop bamboo bike businesses. In 2009, Kwabena took this course, and decided bamboo bikes were the business opportunity for Yonso that he had been searching for. He therefore set up Booomers International (“Booomers”), a company that specializes in the production of bamboo framed bicycles.
Booomers commenced operations in 2009 and is now Ghana’s leading producer and exporter of bamboo bicycles, already distributed to a dozen countries. Booomers will be launching in the UK later in 2017, as the company continues to grow.
As well as making more bamboo bikes, Booomers has recently expanded its product range to include bamboo electric bikes and mobile phone speaker amplifiers. The firm now provides more than 40 jobs directly in Yonso, which indirectly support more than 200 people, as well as providing continuing educational scholarships and investment through a share of profits.
Kwabena will soon be sharing his story as part of a discussion piece in London on June 13th. To book a place at the seminar, head here.