Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative wins World Business and Development Award
6/20/2012 1:11:59 PM -
The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative has been announced as one of eleven winners at the 2012 World Business and Development Awards (WBDA) for its efforts to improve living standards in some of the world's most disadvantaged communities.
The Awards recognize innovative business models that deliver both commercial success and help improve social, economic or environmental conditionsotherwise known as inclusive business models.
The Initiative was recognized at a ceremony concluding the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day taking place as part of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), where world leaders along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups convened.
'I am truly honoured and inspired to receive this award', said Bernice Dapaah, Chief Executive of Bright Generation Community Foundation, proponents of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative. 'Sustainable and innovative social enterprises are measured beyond what they deliver to the bottom line-they are also measured by the impact they have on their communities. We are not resting on our oars as there is a lot of work to be done to move to the next level of growth.'
The Initiative takes advantage of the abundant bamboo found in Ghana to design, develop, and market bamboo bikes and frames and related products and services.
The bamboo bikes can be used for personal or cargo transportation, as well as for commercial purposes. It can carry a much heavier load due to better design and greater strength. Have a better replacement rate of approximately once every five years as the replacement material is locally grown.
It also offers basic course and practical lessons on building bamboo bikes and frames as a way of encouraging entrepreneurship and providing sustainable livelihood job skills.
A panel composed of nine independent judges selected winning initiatives, under the categories of small- and medium-sized enterprise and large organizations.
The 2012 Awards attracted 115 applications from 38 countries showcasing a variety of inclusive business endeavours undertaken by associations, non-governmental organizations and individual companies.
Celebrating a decade of biennial award giving, the World Business and Development Awards are organized by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the UN Global Compact and sponsored by Cemex.
The Awards demonstrate how companies can, through their core business activities, help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)eight internationally agreed targets to reduce poverty and environmental degradation and improve education, health conditions and gender equality by 2015.
'When businesses apply the full force of their core business activities to development challenges and measure their success both by profit and social outcomes, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. The World Business and Development Award winners showcase what businesses of all sizes and in all regions can do to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals,' said Clare Melford, CEO, International Business Leaders Forum.
According to Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, 'past Award winners have shown how companies can help boost sustainable growth and development. They can be a tremendous source of innovative and sustainable solutions which help transform people's lives for the better'.
The 2012 Awards have been awarded explicitly to companies delivering inclusive business models: sustainable, commercially-viable business initiatives that expand access for low-income people to goods and services, or improve their livelihoods by engagement in the business process as direct employees, suppliers or distributors, while also generating sales and profit growth.
'As progress towards the Millennium Development Goals comes under threat in the current economic climate, the Awards highlight the critical role of the private sector in stimulating sustainable economic growth and development,' said Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana