my Boo Bamboo Bikes and the Yonso Project

The my Boo GmbH produces bikes with bamboo frames as an alternative to the resource-intense standard bikes with frames made of aluminium, steel or carbon with a focus on the European bike market. In collaboration with the Yonso Project, the company builds these bamboo bikes in Ghana (Ashanti Region) and distributes them all over the world. With bamboo, a renewable resource is used instead of metals or carbon fibre reinforced plastic.

Bamboo is a nearly perfect material for the production of bikes: It is stable as steel, comfortable like carbon and it grows really fast, which makes bamboo one of the most favoured renewable resources in the world. The Ghanaian bamboo in particular has a thick wall, which leads to high durability. Fortunately, it grows near the Yonso Project, which is why the transport distances are very short. To make the bike frames more stable, aluminum is used and tied to the different bamboo tubes using sisal that is soaked in resin.

The bamboo frames are all produced by hand in Ghana, giving young people an opportunity to work through the Yonso Project. So far, the project has generated more than 60 secure jobs that pay fair local wages. The about 30 employees working at the headquarters in Kiel, are coordinating production, assembling all parts, and doing sales, marketing, and product development. Since its foundation in 2012, the company has almost doubled its annual sales each year.

With the proceeds of my Boo bikes, the Ghanaian and German partners expand educational and economic opportunities in rural Ghana. One of the biggest projects was the opening of the Yonso Project Model School in September last year, with over 200 enrolled children. The company also runs a scholarship program to enable disadvantaged children to have access to education. Since 2014, more than 300 scholarships have been awarded. Further, my Boo has been supporting female vendors by providing microloans to help them start or grow their own businesses and the company cooperated with UNICEF for the Bike to School project.

In 2019, the my Boo GmbH and the Yonso Project were awarded with the “German Sustainability Prize” (“Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis“) in the category “Corporate Cooperation” (3rd place).

The work of my Boo Bamboo Bikes mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4 and 8.