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Protecting the environment: one reusable bag at a time!

Ein Mann mittleren Alters mit kurzen, schwarzen Haaren und Bart sitzt vor einer Nähmaschine. Er trägt ein graues T-Shirt und eine Jeans und lächelt in die Kamera.
Bismark produces sustainable carrier bags.

Protecting the environment: one reusable bag at a time!

My name is Bismark. I am 26 years old and come from the Oti region. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). From April 2018 to March 2019, I participated in Weltwärts, a voluntary exchange programme in Germany. I worked in the education and public relations sectors while I was in Germany.

Return to Ghana

My childhood dream was to make the world a better place, so soon after my return from Germany in 2019, I set out on the journey to fulfill my childhood dream. First, I took up a teaching job at a school in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where I taught students computer programming.

Programming is translating ideas, solutions and instructions into a language that a computer can understand. The world has become a global village and we need technology to keep up with the flow. However, many people, including children, do not have access to and do not understand computer language. I took that teaching job because I wanted to prepare the students for the world of technology.

Ein Mann steht vor einer Textilpresse, auf der eine der Taschen liegt, die bedruckt ist.
Bismark and his team are also happy to print the bags with a motif chosen by the customer.

Reducing plastic waste to protect Ghana’s environment

I love transferring knowledge and I am an environmental enthusiast! This enthusiasm motivated me to venture into producing reusable carrier bags. I came up with the idea while I was in Germany. The bags are sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bags. Reusable bags reduce dependence on plastic and help curb the menace of plastic waste.

Produced in different sizes, these bags can be used for shopping and as packaging. Our production materials, such as cotton, are sourced locally from Ghana’s Northern Region, minimising production cost and providing jobs for farmers. Other production materials include old T-shirts, jeans and flour sacks.

We produce about 600 bags per week, many of which are customised. We also have general ones with a variety of designs and prints.

GGC support

I am grateful for the support I received from the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC). Right from the start, they encouraged me with my idea. I received a business starter package of five industrial sewing machines and a motorbike, which helps with delivery.

In addition, in a very cordial atmosphere, GGC offered me psychological support and business development training, where I learned accounting and invoicing – two important areas for business success. I picked many tips for my practice as an entrepreneur at these training events.

Future plans

We need more equipment to expand and reach many other customers even in remote places, as well as provide employment for the youth in our community. Currently, I have 13 female and two male employees.



The future is now! People have become environmentally conscious and are switching to environmentally friendly products. This is a good time to fund innovations. Many small businesses in Ghana, Germany and the Netherlands purchase our bags and we are ready enter new markets.

As of: 12/2022

 

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

Support for Bismark's path

These organisations have supported Bismark:

  • Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC)
     
  • The "Weltwärts" programme. Under this scheme, volunteers are sent from Germany to other countries or from these countries to Germany. In the target country, they work in the field of development. The aim: to learn from each other and meet each other as equal peers. The programme was initiated in 2008 by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme is largely financed by the BMZ. For many years, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) was heavily involved in the programme as a sending organisation.
     
  • The Migration and Employment Promotion (MEP) programme
Currently, I have 13 female and two male employees. We produce about 600 bags per week.
Bismark

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