Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (Photo:thenextwomen.com)

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (Photo:thenextwomen.com)

Recently named in Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list as a ‘Woman to Watch’, and the Winner of the 2012 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is the Founder & CEO of soleRebels footwear.

From the humblest of beginnings, Bethlehem has built soleRebels into the planet’s fastest growing African footwear brand and the  very first global footwear brand to ever emerge from a developing nation.

She has created world class jobs, and empowered her community and country, whilst presenting a galvanized, dynamic face of African creativity to the global market.

Bethlehem was born and raised in the Zenabwork/Total area of Addis Ababa, one of the most impoverished and marginalized communities of Ethiopia. Growing up Bethlehem saw that Ethiopia had plenty of charity “brands” but not a single global brand of its own, so she set out to change all that. In early 2005, fresh out of college in Addis Ababa, Bethlehem founded the trailblazing footwear company soleRebels to provide solid community-based jobs. Tapping into her community’s and the nation’s rich artisan wealth and heritages, Bethlehem started re-imagining what footwear could be.

Read more TheNextWomen.com

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