Source locally, operate sustainably: Entrepreneur builds business from bamboo

KPMG EnterpriseTM encourages entrepreneurs to look beyond the conventional

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Al Roback, owner of Grass Frames, saw an opportunity to build locally sourced, sustainable bamboo bikes that could be used as a mode of transportation in his hometown of Vancouver. That idea has grown into a business that takes orders from as far away as Asia and Europe, and is one of the companies featured in KPMG Enterprise's new magazine, inBusiness, focused on entrepreneurs and the challenges they face building their businesses.

"Bike use is growing as a means of transportation, and we wanted to fill that gap in a meaningful way that used locally sourced, sustainable materials," said Roback, Owner, Grass Frames.

However, it's not easy convincing people that bamboo is a sturdy alternative to titanium and steel.

"One of our challenges is educating others on the benefits of bamboo bikes," said Roback. "To overcome that challenge, we take the time to have conversations with people about why our bikes are a good choice, and what makes them different."

"It's not only important for entrepreneurs to define their target market, but to conduct market research and not base the definition of their target market solely on their own assumptions," said Dennis Fortnum, Canadian Managing Partner, KPMG Enterprise. "Many entrepreneurs share the same challenge of educating their potential customers, similar to Grass Frames, that's why honing in on a target market and reaching them in a meaningful way is critical to success."

KPMG Enterprise Insight

  • Step back from your idea—How a consumer can use a product or service is not always obvious.  Testing your product in a market that you aren't in could give you surprising results and lead to fresh thinking about your target market.
  • Research—Social media is being used more as a research method. It's inexpensive, effective and readily available.
  • Look beyond Search Engine Optimization—Media coverage and third party endorsements or reviews, especially online, are key to spreading the word about your product. Many consumers research their products on the internet, so it's important to have information available about your product, other than the product web site.

Read stories about the successes and challenges of Canadian entrepreneurs in KPMG Enterprise's inBusiness Magazine. The magazine is featured in hard copy twice a year, and is available as an electronic newsletter three times a year. To subscribe to inBusiness, please visit

Follow @KPMG_Canada on Twitter (#KPMGinBusiness) and on LinkedIn for more facts from inBusiness Magazine.

About KPMG Enterprise

KPMG Enterprise™ is a national network of professionals dedicated to helping business owners and entrepreneurs build value in their business and grow thriving enterprises in Canada. Why is this important for your business? Because KPMG Enterprise advisers care passionately about the success of their private company clients. As the primary point of contact, they take time to understand your business and help deliver value that is unique to your private company. Our service delivery goal is to provide relevant, timely advice and ideas about your financial, business, and operational challenges in a way that is manageable and affordable, which will ultimately help any business owner save time and money while building a successful business.  Visit


For further information:

Kira Froese
National Coordinator, Media Relations
KPMG in Canada
(416) 777-8928

Heather Patterson
Grass Frames
(778) 987-2847

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