Bernice Dapaah is the founder and CEO of Ghana Bamboo Bikes, a social enterprise and initiative that trains women and youth in the manufacturing and assembling of eco-friendly bamboo bikes.
With the help of the Clinton Foundation, Bernice established Ghana Bamboo Bikes 2009, and has been changing the face of transportation in Ghana ever since.
“Women in Ghana are facing a lot of challenges in terms of education and jobs,” Bernice says in the above video. “We believe that business opportunities exist in all the areas of Ghana and we are committed to improving the standard of living of Ghanaian women and girls.”
All participants go through a 200-hour bamboo manufacturing and mechanics course, equipping them with the skills to find jobs at local bike shops, or start their very own.
To create the sustainable and affordable bikes, Bernice and her team gather bamboo from local Ghanaian farms, strip down the material and build bicycle frames held together by steel tubes, rings, and traditional wheels to create a light and stable bike. For every bamboo plant Ghana Bamboo Bikes uses, they plant ten more.
In addition to training and employing dozens of women and youth, Bernice is also on a mission to help young girls get to school. “A lot of girls walk miles from their homes to school. They are always late and tired for class. Using a bamboo bike as an alternative for transportation is really helping them a lot.”
Today, Ghana Bamboo Bikes produces over 100 bikes per month and is continuing to expand and create employment opportunities throughout Ghana and beyond.
“Educating a woman is not only the right thing to do it’s the smart thing to do, because, if one woman is able to do something, the impact is so great on a lot of women.”
More about Bernice
Bernice is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, she holds a diploma in Human Resource Management and Marketing from the Institute of Commercial Management UK, and Bachelors in Business Administration from the Christian Service University College in Kumasi, Ghana.
She is also is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity and Natural Capital, was named as an Ambassador of the World Bamboo Organization, and has been honored with the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s “Entrepreneur for the World Award.”