COMPANY: BAMBOO LABS
FOUNDER: ABEL HAILE GIORGIS:
INSPIRATION TO START THE BUSINESS:
Bamboo is a sustainable material of the 21st century and Ethiopia holds the highest share of bamboo resource in Africa (70% of the total share of African bamboo is found in Ethiopia). A good attribute to bamboo is that it is a fast-growing grass requiring significantly less land water to grow than, timber, and can absorb up to five times more C02 and release up to 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. Furthermore, it can be harvested after only 4-5 years and re-grows easily from the remaining Culm shoot. This background is what led me to start Bamboo Labs, in order to help people with difficulties with cheap sustainable technology.
BACKGROUND OF FOUNDER:
Before starting Bamboo Labs, I gained over 8 years of professional work experience in education, community development and engineering. With regards to my academic background, I received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Adama Science and Technology University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering from Addis Ababa University and Masters in Urban Planning. However, my entrepreneurial spirit led me to discover bamboo and its environmental and social benefits. With that, I enrolled in a number of courses with the Ethiopia Technical University, where I learned how to design, fabricate, and produce bamboo products.
DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS ACTIVITIES:
Years in Operation
It is almost 3 years since we started operations.
Number of staff
Approximately 20 peoples are there in our current stage of production.
-Limited awareness about bamboo.
Creation of local jobs and strengthening the local economy by using locally grown bamboo.
FUTURE EXPANSION PLANS:
Bamboo labs plans to bring value to the Ethiopian community in 2 ways:
-Accessibility: Focus on bringing affordable wheelchairs to the market to increase accessibility.
-Sustainability: Focus on creating sustainable products that provide environmental, social, and economical benefits.
With regards to our goals, we aim to: improve the livelihood of individuals and communities by improving access to modes of mobility, creating local jobs, and strengthening the local economy by using locally grown bamboo, We intend to be a leading player in using bamboo in the Ethiopian market that advocates for reducing our carbon footprint.
In these three ways Bamboo Labs hopes to contribute to the part played by Ethiopia in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and addressing the challenges arising from increased urbanization to ensure a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable way of life in the future.
In the wake of a recent push by the Ethiopian Government for more sustainable transport and following the opening of several new green spaces in Addis Ababa – including the Gulele Botanical Garden, Unity Park, Entoto Natural Park, and Sheger Park – the issue of accessibility to affordable bikes has come more into the mainstream of national dialogue.
The Ethiopian government has recently launched the Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) Strategy 2020-29, which outlines measures that the country will implement over the next ten years to improve mobility and facilitate inclusive urbanization. However, with these measures comes an even bigger question: How do you facilitate sustainable and accessible mobility with one of the fastest urbanizing countries in sub-Saharan Africa? To this end, we are discussing with Transport ministry how to implement this bamboo bike idea in Ethiopia and some other countries.
Amount of Financing Needed