Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, the brain behind Sole Rebels, grew up in Zenabwork, a poor village in the suburbs of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She came up with her business idea after she noticed most of the artisans in her community, who made beautiful footwear, remained jobless and poor.
SoleRebels’ footwear is unique because it is 100 percent made by hand using locally-sourced and recycled materials like old car tyres and hand-loomed organic fabrics.
A few years ago, SoleRebels became the first footwear company in the world to be certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation. By using local craftsmen, Bethlehem has built a global brand and a hugely successful business that has created jobs and improved livelihoods in her local community.
SoleRebels – A successful African footwear brand made from waste and recycled materials
Who is this #remarkable woman ?
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (born 1980) is an Ethiopian business woman, founder and executive director of soleRebels, Africa's "fastest growing footwear company". Alemu has received honors and accolades for her business acumen, as well as her efforts to shift the discourse on Africa away from poverty to the continent's entrepreneurial spirit, social capital, and economic potential. Alemu launched "The Republic of Leather", designing sustainable luxury leather goods, and "Garden of Coffee" retail outlets to promote Ethiopian coffees.
In early 2005, Alemu founded soleRebels to provide ecologically and economically sustainable jobs for her community.
In 2013 Alemu was chosen by readers of The Guardian as one of "Africa's Top Women Achievers."
In 2014 Alemu was named as one of CNN's "12 Female Entrepreneurs Who Changed the Way We Do Business.
Pic by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
Source by solerebels.com