Winnifred Selby

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Winnifred Selby, born in Ghana, co-Founded Afrocentric Bamboo at the age of 17 years.

Afrocentric Bamboo is a company that manufactures and markets bicycles made from bamboo.

Today, at just 19, she is heading what has become a growing brand that is struggling to keep up with demand.

Afrocentric Bamboo bikes, designed in-house, are sturdy, affordable and made for the high terrain and rough roads of rural Ghana.

The frames are built in one piece, making them stronger and more economically viable than other models, since users save on needing to replace fiddly spare parts.

Selby and her co-founder have started their own bamboo plantation at Seidi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana, where bamboo grows naturally.

It is an up-and-coming commodity, particularly in Ghana: rampant deforestation has seen a vast drop in timber and since 2002 the government has been actively encouraging bamboo development.

Afrocentric Bamboo’s main challenge for growth is not materials but investment.

Turnover in 2015 reached close to US$320 000.

The company has trained 42 people to manufacture and assemble the bikes locally, primarily women with little or no education, who are paid double the minimum daily wage.

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