In 1976, after graduating from MIT, Carl Bielenberg hitchhiked through Europe over to Morocco, across the Saharan Desert and around Africa. After 5 months of travelling Carl lost his backpack in Cameroon. He fell in love with the people and the country and decided to stay. For the first two years Carl worked as an inventor for an agricultural technology organization. In 1978 after saving enough money to branch out on his own, Carl founded The Better World Workshop (BWW) in Baffousam, Cameroon. BWW was an atelier that designed and produced what the customers needed from cocoa depodders to bread pans.
Over the next 40 years Carl was involved in developing energy and agricultural technologies for Africa and the United States. From the Bielenberg Ram Press to the introduction of the Treadle Pump, invented by Gunnar Barnes in Bangladesh and adopted by Carl for the Africa market, the one constant was that people lacked the energy source needed to displace human muscle power. Village Industrial Power’s 10kW unit is the product of these many years of learning in the field. It addresses the need for energy and agricultural processing by using the resources available to farmers.