East Bali Bamboo Bikes


East Bali Bamboo Bikes is a community business that was launched after six months of experimentation, seeking partners, and a crowdfunding campaign.

After decades of reforesting areas affected by the eruptions of the Agung Volcano with bamboo, impoverished communities in East Bali (Indonesia) were looking for ways to sustainably harness this abundant natural resource.

On March of 2016, I landed in Indonesia with the mission of helping these communities to find a business model around all the Bamboo they had been planting for more than 7 years

Despite their great handcrafting skills, and all the cheaply available bamboo, the initial market research showed neighbouring markets full of very similar products, sold at very low prices.

Selling products with very low margins was against the goal of the project, which aimed at generating good margins in the profit of their communities, and good wages for the workers.

If we wanted to build a sustainable social business that could benefit the peoples of Desa Ban, we needed to come up with high value-added products with high margins.

Our research and networks took us on a path to prototype bamboo speakers, in collaboration with a successful brand that had been manufacturing and selling them successfully in the Philippines.

Bamboo Speaker

As the team needed money for some basic machinery to manufacture those products, we launched a series of fundraising events and a crowdfunding campaign to finance the machines and build a small workshop.

Green School Eco Festival, June 2016

The crowdfunding was a success, and we did not only get the money needed to finance the workshop and equipment, but in the process we also built new strategic partnerships.

The speaker idea was never consolidated, however, an Indonesian Philanthropist who donated a few machines took the entire team to be trained in the process of manufacturing frames for bamboo bicycles.

Crowdfunded workshop

Months after my departure, and after selling the first 40 bikes, they launched East Bali Bamboo Bikes.

Sustainability projects

Related articles:

Our role in the project:

  • Market Research & Innovation
  • Bamboo products development and testing
  • Campaign & PR management
  • Social Business Model Innovation
  • Finance