Bikes Made from Bamboo
Georges Beyiha ’15
When Georges Beyiha graduated from CHC in 2015 with a degree in International Business, Cultures and Languages, he did not yet know he was about to become an entrepreneur with a business that creates sustainable bicycles from bamboo. To clarify, the body, itself, is made from bamboo, which offers an array of benefits over traditional building materials.
“Our mission at BooomersUSA is to provide earth-friendly transportation, promote a healthy lifestyle and provide jobs in underserved communities in Philadelphia,” says Beyiha, a native of Cameroon.
Currently, the parts are produced in Ghana through Booomers International and shipped to Beyiha and his partner and the company’s CEO, Christian Rwakazina. The men, along with a small team of workers assemble and sell the bikes. Sold for $750 each, the bikes come in two styles—road and trail. Bamboo is not only strong and durable, it also is good for the planet.
“Bamboo needs little water and enriches the soil,” says Beyiha. “It releases much more oxygen and consumes more carbon dioxide than most plants of the same size.”
Beyiha is hard at work networking in meetings with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny and the Chamber of Commerce who he hopes will find a piece of land the city might dedicate to growing bamboo so the major component of the bikes could be produced right here in the U.S.
He also is meeting with various college and university officials around the city in hopes of finding grants and/or partners interested in investing in sustainable business practices or to purchase bikes for their students. Ultimately, he would like to add children’s bikes, recumbent and city bikes to the line-up, along with bamboo hemp for cycling clothing and accessories including helmets, saddles and more. He also hopes to provide jobs to more Philadelphians in the near future.
“Those are my goals,” says Beyiha. “I also would like to have partnerships with colleges and universities and to form a bike share program using the bamboo bikes, maybe through some of the bike shops in the city. Right now, I’m just trying to spread the word.”