Ecobike development: a social enterprise to bring bamboo bikes to Ethiopia

Principal Investigator(s): Dr Shpend Gerguri


Project start: June 2018

Funded by: USADF

About us

The Cycle Mobility Group hosted a sustainable enterprise from Ethiopia in July 2018. Staff worked with Mrs Ethiopia Wondimu on the design and manufacture of an ecobike made from bamboo, building on previous success of the bamboo bike project back in 2011.

Mrs Wondimu secured a Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African leaders and spent 3 months in the US training on the leadership aspects of business and entrepreneurship. She also won a $25K USDAF (United States African Development Foundation) grant competition to help with the development of the enterprise.

The sustainable enterprise will make use of Ethiopia’s bamboo resources to create bikes that will be manufactured locally and provide transport for rural communities in Ethiopia to promote and enhance mobility.

Group photo of the project team

Research impact

Ms Ethiopia Wondimu building the bike

One of the primary aims is to empower women, low income groups and isolated rural dwellers with access to employment opportunities and training in skilled work, low cost transport and to allow children the ability to attend school.

After successfully creating porotypes in July 2018, the design blueprints were formally handed over to Ecobike Manufacturing PLC, an enterprise set up by Mrs Wondimu. The Cycle Mobility Group will be working with the enterprise to support the engineering development, manufacturing of the bikes and future products.

The story featured in the local news media - see Oxford Brookes develop Bamboo bikes for new business in Ethiopia.

Knowledge transfer session
Knowledge transfer session
Bike frame exposed on a tree trunk
Bike frame
Fully assembled bamboo bike
Fully assembled bamboo bike
Mrs Ethiopia Wondimu displaying built frame and bike
Presentation of the project outcome