Founder and Managing Director, soleRebels Founder and Creator
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is Founder and Managing Director of soleRebels, the world’s fastest-growing African footwear brand and the only WFTO Fair Trade footwear company in the world. She is also the Founder & Creator of Republic of Leather, a new company that is changing the way people around the world buy & love luxury leatherwear.
From the humblest of beginnings in Ethiopia, Bethlehem has built soleRebels into the first global footwear brand ever to emerge from a developing nation. She has created world-class jobs and empowered her community and country, while presenting a galvanized, dynamic face of African creativity to the global market. soleRebels has expanded rapidly and today exports to 45 countries; the brand is targeting 50 stand-alone retail stores across the US by 2019 and 500 worldwide by 2022.
Bethlehem’s achievements in building her businesses have brought wide global acclaim. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and the first female African entrepreneur to address the Clinton Global Initiative. She was named Outstanding African Business Woman by African Business Awards in 2011, listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women to Watch, and Business Insider ranked her one of The Top 5 Entrepreneurs in Africa. CNN recently named Bethlehem one of the 12 greatest female entrepreneurs of the last century, alongside Coco Chanel and Sara Blakely for her ground-breaking influence.