Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder soleRebels, a shoe manufacturing firm based in Ethiopia but selling its products worldwide has been named top 100 among Fast Company 2013 ‘s top 100 creative people in business along data geeks, world-changers, actors, rappers and top innovators.
The 2013 competition ranked top creative minds in business identified global leaders in technology, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television, sports, and more. Alemu, the founder and CEO, soleRebels stands at number 62.
According to Fast Company, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu’s childhood village in Ethiopia taught her a sobering economic lesson: “We had lots of artisan talent, but no job opportunities,” she told the firm. So, on a plot of her grand-mother’s land in Addis Ababa, she created a small-scale solution: soleRebels, a shoe company that pays fair wages and uses locally sourced materials such as organic, hand-spun cotton.
Alemu says soleRebels began in 2004 as an idea: to bring jobs to her community, after she grew up watching her family and neighbors struggling to make ends meet. She decided to create the “better life” by harnessing the community’s incredible artisan skills and channeling them into a sustainable, global, fair trade footwear business. To the worlds astonishment, her soleRebels brand is being enjoyed by people in over 30 countries around the world and is the world’s only Fair Trade-certified footwear company. She is opening stand-alone boutiques in Germany and Sweden and later the U.S.
The top ten Most Creative People 2013 include;
1. Nate Silver-Principal, FiveThirtyEight; author