Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is an Ethiopian business woman, founder and executive director of soleRebels, Africa’s “fastest growing footwear company”. She was born in 1980 in the Zenebework area of Addis Ababa. Her parents worked at a local hospital.
Alemu attended public primary and secondary schools, and then went on to study accounting at Unity University, graduating in 2004.
In 2005, she founded SoleRebels, a large Company with over one hundred employees to enhance the ecologically and economically growth of the community. The company began out of a workshop on a plot of land owned by Alemu’s grandmother in Zenebework.
Alemu has received various honors and accolades for her business acumen. She was chosen by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. In 2012, Alemu was included on Forbes ‘100 Most Powerful’ and profiled as a “Woman to Watch.”. That same year, she was named by Business Insider as one of “Africa’s Top 5 Female Entrepreneurs.” and also chosen as NYC Venture Fellow by Mayor Bloomberg. In 2014, she was named as one of CNN’s “12 Female Entrepreneurs Who Changed the Way We Do Business.
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In 2014, Alemu announced a new business venture, The Republic of Leather which is centered on principles of customer choice—customer choice of design, producer and receiving charity of 5% of the price they pay. In 2016 the company sold 125,000 pairs of shoes and it had created 1,200 jobs.
In 2017, “Garden of Coffee” was added to the list of her companies. It began with outlets in Addis Ababa