Tuesday, November 24

Meet Bernice Dapaah; the Ghanaian woman building bikes from bamboo

Bernice Dapaah is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative in Kumasi. This Initiative addresses environmental degradation through the production of bicycles using environmentally friendly resources such as bamboo.

Bernice Dapaah is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative in Kumasi.
Bernice Dapaah is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative in Kumasi.

As an alumnus of Harvard University Executive Education Program and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Bernice Dapaah is a young Ghanaian rising social entrepreneur. She holds a Diploma in Human Resource Management and Marketing from the Institute of Commercial Management UK and bachelor’s in business administration from the Christian Service University College in Kumasi Ghana. She has over a decade work experience in both the profit and non-profit industries.

Bernice is the Executive Director of the Bright Generation Community Foundation; a non-profit involved in sustainable development and serves as the founder and CEO of the award-winning Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative. The initiative is a socio ecological green initiative that addresses the quadruple problems of climate change, poverty, rural-urban migration and high unemployment amongst the youth in rural Ghana by creating employment opportunities and sustainable livelihood job skills for the youth through the building of high quality handcrafted second generation bamboo bikes suitable for the high terrain and rough roads and purposeful for the local needs using native bamboo.

When we started this initiative, I often thought about when I was younger and had to walk for miles before I got to school. So why not give bikes to students so that they can study and have enough time to read their books, “

Bernice Dapaah is a Ghanaian entrepreneur who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative in Kumasi.
bamboo bike

Established in her hometown, the company employs, notably women to pick up bamboo branches. She also donates bikes to students in Kumasi, to get to school quickly and have time to study at home. “For 10 bikes sold, we give one to a student from a poor rural area so that he/she can go to school,” she told French-speaking Belgian Radio and Television (RTBF). Besides its social dimension, the company also contributes to protecting the environment. For each bamboo cut, 10 more are planted by the GBBI team. Since its creation, GBBI has produced 1,000 bikes sold at 100 euros per unit.

Under her leadership, Bernice nurtured the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative from a project idea which she pledged as a commitment project of President Clinton’s Global Initiative University into an award-winning social enterprise that has won several international awards including the 2013 UNFCCC Momentum For Change Light House Activity Award (Women For Results Category),World Business and Development Award 2012, UN Habitat/Dubai International Best Practice Award 2012,Samsung/Generations For Peace Impact Award 2012,GIZ Impact Business Award 2011, and UNEP SEED Initiative Award 2010.

In 2013 Bernice Dapaah was named a Vital Voices Lead Fellow having earlier on won the 2013 International Women Alliance World of Difference Award.

Apart from serving as the National Coordinator of the National Free Shoes and Educational Supplies Program which complements the Government of Ghana free school feeding and free uniforms program by distributing free shoes and educational supplies to needy school children in deprived communities. Bernice is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity and Natural Capital made up of the world’s foremost intellectual network, convening the most relevant and knowledgeable thought leaders from business, government, academia and civil society to address key global issues.

Source: ghanaianmuseum.com

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