Bamboo Bike Project

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Bamboo Bike Project
Founded 📆2007
Founder 👔David Ho, John Mutter
Headquarters 🏙️Palisades, NY
Area served 🗺️
Products 📟 Bamboo Bicycles
Number of employees
🌐 Website
📇 Address
📞 telephone

The Bamboo Bike Project was started by two scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), David Ho and John Mutter, with initial funding coming from The Earth Institute at Columbia University. The project's goal is to help local investors start factories that make low cost, high quality, locally produced bamboo bikes to be distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa.


In 2006, professor David Ho at University of Hawaii at Manoa won $25,000 in a seed funding competition from the Earth Clinic to determine the feasibility of using bamboo bicycles to provide improved transportation in sub-Saharan Africa.[1][2] In the summer of 2007, Ho and his colleague John Mutter, using the seed money from the Earth Clinic, paid for Craig Calfee to join them on a trip to Accra, Ghana to determine the feasibility of building bamboo bikes using locally sourced material.[3]

After a successful trip, the Bamboo Bike Project teamed up with the Millennium Cities Initiative in 2008 to help establish bamboo bike building factories in Kumasi and elsewhere.[4]

Ghana production facility[edit]

In January 2011, the Bamboo Bike Project (BBP) held a two-week training program designed to teach local workers in Kumasi how to build bamboo bicycles. It is the project's first large-scale bamboo bike production facility in the world. This facility is controlled by Bamboo Bikes Limited (BBM), a Ghana-based company owned by investor Kwame Sarpong. The training program was used to begin the production of 750 bamboo bicycles which were to be distributed to NGOs located throughout Ghana.

The production of these bicycles was to provide the managing company BBM an opportunity to evaluate the facility's capacity for large-scale production and provide adequate experience for the workers to begin large-scale production. With the completion of the training program and the production of these first 750 bicycles, the plant became the first facility capable of mass-producing bamboo bicycles in the world. It is projected that this facility will be capable of producing up to 20,000 bamboo bicycles a year.

Manufacturing at this scale will provide employment, keep costs low, and make available cost-effective transport to the local people.[5]

See also[edit]

  • Bicycle poverty reduction
  • Bikes Not Bombs
  • Pedaling to Freedom
  • With My Own Two Wheels
  • World Bicycle Relief


  1. Seed Funding Competition Year 2006 – 2007 – The Earth Institute – Columbia University. Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  2. Conversation: David Ho, Environmental Scientist with a New Spin on Bikes Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Cogito (December 18, 2008). Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  3. Bamboo Bike Project. (June 16, 2007). Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  4. Millennium Cities Initiative – Bamboo Bike Project. (January 24, 2011). Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  5. "Production Starts on Sustainable Bamboo Bikes in Ghana". Earth Institute, Columbia University. Retrieved 2011-11-11.

External links[edit]

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