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Bamboo bikes from Ghana

Retail

When we wrote about Bamboo Bike Studio late last year, we noted the company’s involvement in the Bamboo Bike Project, which seeds bamboo bike factories in developing countries. Working towards a similar goal is Calfee Design, which is helping entrepreneurs in the developing world make locally sourced bamboo bicycles for domestic and international sale. Calfee Design has been manufacturing and selling its own bamboo bikes from its California studios since 2005, but a trip to Africa inspired founder Craig Calfee to promote the concept in Africa. In 2008, through an initiative called Bamboosero, Calfee set up two bike-building groups in Ghana—one in the capital, Accra, and one in Abompe. Both groups now build frames for several bike designs using locally sourced bamboo; they then ship those frames back to Calfee’s shop, where the US team adds wheels and hardware before sending them on to distributors. The Ghanaian entrepreneurs earn about USD 150 for every frame they build, while the finished bikes are sold for about USD 950 each, according to a report on SantaCruz.com. By December 2009, Calfee had sold 28 Bamboosero bikes and sent six back to Ghana for use by tourists and locals, the site reported. Calfee hopes to expand the ranks of its bicycle entrepreneurs both in Ghana and in other developing countries, as well as to bolster the supply chain of bicycle parts for those local teams. One to sponsor, partner with or otherwise get involved in? (Related: Low-cost bicycles for (not only) the rural poorUsed Danish bikes help African poor.) Websites: www.bamboosero.com and www.calfeedesign.com Spotted by: Brian Yang

Email: craig@calfeedesign.com

Website: www.bamboosero.com

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