Made from seed to seat, Booomers Bamboo Bikes is a social enterprise in Agona, Ashanti region of Ghana, Africa. Local founder and CEO, Kwabena Danso, pays farmers to sustainably grow bamboo, which is later harvested and made into bicycle frames. The revenue from the sales of the bicycles pays to support a school for the village, allowing every child the chance to learn.


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"I always go to bed and rise up with smiles. Not because I have enough, not because I have so much for myself, but because I am able to empower people."

-Kwabena Danso, CEO and Founder of Booomers Bikes, Ghana, Africa

Workers at Booomers measure fresh bamboo to decide for which bicycle part the bamboo is best.

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Once harvested, the bamboo is dried in a kiln to remove insects and moisture. 

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Once the bamboo has been treated with heat, the bamboo is sorted and stored according to it's circumference. Different sizes of bamboo pieces are needed to complete the bicycle frame. 

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Each piece of bamboo is measured and then trimmed specifically for each bicycle part. The dry bamboo pieces offer the strength of steel with the movement, weight, and cushion of carbon fiber.


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The bamboo bicycle parts are made by hand. Though Danso could automate parts of the operation, he chooses to have them made for two major reasons: he can employ more people if they make the parts by hand and the electricity grid is not stable enough where he lives. When the power goes out, which is does often, the employees can still work with the abundant daylight.

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Joints are formed and dried before moving to the next step. 

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Sisal, is dipped in an epoxy resin and then hand-wrapped around each joint for extra strength and stability.

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Once the joints have been wrapped with sisal, they cure overnight before being sanded down and smoothed.

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The cured joints are sanded and sculpted into their proper shape for the bike frame.

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After being shaped, another layer of resin is applied, adding a layer of strength and sealing off any edges from the sanding.

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Using a finer sandpaper, the joints are sanded and smoothed over one more time before they move to the finishing room for the final application of finishing varnish.

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In the final step before the bicycles are built, employees spray a high-gloss finish over the entire bicycle frame.

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The last step before shipment is quality control. Each bike is thoroughly checked over for function and balance before being delivered.

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The profits from selling the bamboo bicycles are reinvested to provide a school for the Yonso community. Many of the kids in the village lack access to education, either because their families cannot afford to send them or they are too far away to attend. This new school allows any student to attend, regardless of ability to pay, and is centrally located for easier access. A bus is also provided for more remote students.


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Kwabena Danso provides a tour of the school, which is built from the profits of his bamboo bicycle social enterprise.

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With the bicycle business steady, Danso expanded his business to basket and furniture making. The baskets are woven by hand, with many designs available to accessorize Booomers bikes and homes. 

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Mabel, a basket weaver, holds part of the cane with her toes.

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In addition to their wages, Booomers employees also receive lunch every day. Danso hires a local cook to provide the meals for the workers, expanding the reach of his social enterprise.

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Hot lunch from a local cook is one of the other benefits to working at Booomers. Kwabena Danso also provides health care for his employees, like vaccinations, and he also helps them set up a savings account. Holding a degree in finance himself, Danso provides financial literacy education for the young workers, as well.

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The camaraderie among Booomers workers is palpable everywhere, from singing songs in the back of the truck on the way to work to football games during lunch to spending time together on the weekends.

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The Booomers truck provides transportation for workers to and from work each day.

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Employees are Booomers are like a family, often gathering at Kwabena's home on the weekends to cook together, listen to football games on the radio or television, or play with the kids in the village.

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Pupu, the national dish of Ghana, is a popular meal on the weekends. The time consuming preparation of the dish means plenty of time to hang out in between steps.

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Haircuts are a staple of the weekends, and the employees take turns helping one another out.

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Meals are always a group affair, with everyone dipping in for their share of the Pupu.

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Kwabena credits his grandmother for his success in life. Her hard work and sacrifices made it possible for him to go to school and eventually go to Accra for university schooling.  He said, "At first when I returned to the village she was unhappy, because she thought I wasn't successful. Why would I come back here when I have success? But then she saw me go on a plane to the UK and she knew I was successful."

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Iain Walker, the UK High Commissioner to Ghana, does a test ride of a Booomers bicycle during his visit to the bike factory.

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Kwabena Danso, left, founder and CEO of Booomers, and Iain Walker, right, the UK High Commissioner to Ghana.

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Booomers staff pose in front of the factory.

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