When Winifred Selby heard the phrase “age is nothing but a number,” she decided to embody it in every way possible. At just the tender age of 19 she has made it her mission to fight for a carbon free and greener planet. All this while employing 30 young women thus improving their quality of life and that of their dependents. She undertakes this tremendous cause by manufacturing bikes made from bamboo rather than the traditional wood or metal. This way her company is helping protect Ghana from deforestation, improve air and water quality and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The company currently generates a turnover of $10,000 a month by selling their bikes nationally and exporting them internationally.
Ghana’s road network is 40,186km long which for a developing nation displays nothing but promise. However not many of the 24.4% of people living below the poverty line can afford to travel via buses, trains or planes around the country. This makes it extremely difficult for the potential entrepreneur living in poverty to make the jump and expand it businesses. Ghana’s Bamboo Bikes provide light to this entrepreneur because of their affordability and accessibility, making it easier for entrepreneurs to travel to nearby towns in search for new markets. Above and beyond contributing to the solving of migration between urban and rural areas this initiative is by default also tackling traffic congestion. With the support from AU (African Union) a prototype bamboo bike ambulance is being designed to support emergencies in rural Ghana. To add to the list of noble deeds the initiative also produces tricycles to assist with women who cart goods from their farms to the local markets.
Let me remind you, this is the brainchild of a 19 years old. Makes you feel a bit inadequate right? The initiative has earned the attention of the U.N Framework for the Convention on Climate Change, won various awards including the Seed Initiative and the Impact Business Award just to name a few. With many African countries actively looking for tailor made African solutions the future is very bright for Winifred Selby and her Ghana Bamboo Bikes.