Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative: Empowering women and building resilience

 

Around the world, female entrepreneurs are empowering other women to generate sustainable income while addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative does it one high-quality bicycle at a time.

Founded by a female entrepreneur and fueled by women’s leadership, the initiative trains and employs women with limited access to education to manufacture and assemble bicycles out of bamboo. In one fell swoop, Ghana Bamboo Bikes is addressing several of Ghana’s most pressing challenges: migration between urban and rural areas, traffic congestion, low employment, and environmental degradation. Cultivating bamboo to build the bicycles—as opposed to wood or metal—helps conserve the country’s fast-disappearing forests, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and improve air and water quality.

With this increased attention, the women have received and filled orders as far away as Europe and the United States. Now, the initiative is already working to create new jobs and expand into new locations across Ghana.

Since 2012, Ghana Bamboo Bikes has been on the radar of the U.N. Framework for the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat’s “Momentum for Change: Women for Results,” a Rockefeller Foundation–supported initiative celebrating the efforts to improve development outcomes for women globally. The initiative works to inform governments, media, and the public about the role of women in solving climate change and showcase innovative, effective, and scalable models.

With women expected to comprise a majority of the world’s city dwellers, organizations like Ghana Bamboo Bikes are more important than ever—and a model of women empowering women while building resilience.

Do you know a woman who is building resilience in your community? Tell us about her.