From Ghana to the World: Kwabena is Taking His Bamboo Bike to the UK and North America
On the heels of the Special Recognition award at the TEF Forum 2017, Kwabena Danso , CEO Booomers International Ltd, Africa’s leading producer of bamboo bicycles in Africa shared his success with us and plans for the future.
Booomers International is a subsidiary social enterprise of The Yonso Project, which produces and markets bamboo bicycles and accessories to both the Ghanaian and international markets. The company manufactures different types of bamboo bicycles and their accessories – such as bicycle stands and baskets – to help improve transportation, youth employment, and mitigate climate change issues. Boomers International also helps to alleviate poverty in rural communities. For Kwabena and his team, taking part in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015 was a game changer for their operations. “Booomers has seen tremendous development in business following our participation in the Tony Elumelu Foundation program. It has always been with us as our business has evolved. In 2015 when we won the award, our total sales in that year (our first year of full operation) was 400 bicycle frames. In 2016, putting all that we learnt in use and ensuring controls as well as efficiency, our sales actually tripled to over 1200 bicycle frames, and this year, we have already sold about 800 bicycle frames and we still have orders coming in”
To meet the surging demand for its bikes, Boomers has had to triple the size of its factory and Kwabena says they are also go into the assembling and selling fully assembled bikes as many people are requesting to have the final product instead of just the frame. They are also looking to break into new markets with plans on the way to launch full scale marketing and sales in both the United Kingdom and North America by the first quarter of 2018.
Kwabena says all plans are far advance but there is a lot of work to be done over the next year including the following:
- Building a warehouse: Currently, Boomers experiences difficulty storing finished products and raw materials and has made a goal to put up a warehouse within the first quarter of 2018. This will enhance operations and ensure greater efficiency and product quality.
- Heated frame drying room: With demand rising, Kwabena and his team are not letting the guard down on quality as they are adding a heated frame drying room where all bicycles frames will be heated after spraying. This will ensure that sprayed frames are well dried and prevent insect infections.
With the rich plans for scale up on the way and the intensive capital required to meet the level of scale up it requires, Boomers is commencing crowdfunding money will allow it to substantially increase sales and social impact and as well place them in strong position to raise further investment over the following years from angel investors and help take forward its exciting plans for responding to the huge opportunities of the UK and North American markets.
These ambitious expansion plans require more capital. And the initial step in raising this will be through a Crowd Funding campaign scheduled to commence at the end of this year. Funds from this will be used to build the warehouse and frame drying rooms, marketing and working capital needed to drive market expansion plans. It will also be a great way of raise the profile in the UK and North American markets as we enter them. With all in place Kwabena and his team at Boomers are not stopping and are ready to increase production by 250%.