Business Insider: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu Among Africa’s Top 5 Women Entrepreneurs

Business Insider Magazine names Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (above) among "Africa's Top 5 Women Entrepreneurs" whose innovative business approach is receiving recognition. (Photo credit: AARON MAASHO/AFP/Getty Images)

Business Insider
By Greg Voakes, Hack College

Having risen to glory with their entrepreneurship skills in very less time, these women have proven their mettle and talent to the world. From being featured on Forbes Top List, to receiving global honor for their enterprise and their work, these women entrepreneurs are going places. Here’s a closer look at the five leading women entrepreneurs of Africa.

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
When she started in 2004 with the name soleRebels, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu exactly knew where her enterprise of making hand-crafted shoes would take not only her but also her local community in Addis Ababa. According to her, the fine and skilled artisans employed from her local community (in Ethiopia) form the backbone of the company and the essentials of the company’s ethics. With the joy of spreading a bit of their cultural heritage with every shoe crafted, Alemu has emerged as a commendable entrepreneur consolidating her business in less than a decade with her gumption. Owing to Alemu’s grits and dedication towards soleRebels today, the company is the only achiever of WFTO fair Trade Certified Footwear Company title worldwide. Following the success of her business, Alemu was invited by Bill Clinton for addressing as a speaker by The Clinton Global Initiative’s panel. Subsequently in the year 2011, Alemu was again given the distinct honor by the World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, she was the first African woman entrepreneur to get the invitation ever. In the same year, she received global recognition for entrepreneurship by different institutions. soleRebels was among the top 5 finalists of the 2011 Legatum Africa Awards For Entrepreneurship. Alemu gives workshops & mentorship to young rural girls for their economic empowerment and to equip them with self-reliance. Alemu envisages coming 3 years as the period of expansion of her business beyond Ethiopia in more than 10 locations with annual revenues topping $10 million.

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