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Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

Founder & Managing Director of soleRebels; Promoter of Africa's Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Capital & Economic Potential

Founder & Managing Director of soleRebels; Promoter of Africa's Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Capital & Economic Potential

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Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu Biography

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is a globally acclaimed serial entrepreneur . She is the founder and CEO of soleRebels, the world's fastest-growing African footwear brand and the only Origin Trade footwear company in the world.

Growing up in one of the poorest and most marginalized neighborhoods in Addis Ababa, Alemu decided that there was only one way to defeat poverty and create lasting prosperity – use local craftsmanship to make world class products that can compete and win in the global marketplace. She decided on footwear, and today tens of thousands of pairs of shoes leave soleRebels factory every year. soleRebels has been expanding rapidly and today exports to no fewer than 45 countries and is aiming to be the first global branded retail chain from a developing nation to open 100 stores and achieve over $250 million USD in revenues by 2025/26.

Alemu is also the founder and creator of Republic of Leather, a company that is changing the way people around the world buy and love luxury leatherwear. And just as she changed the way the world enjoys shoes and leather she is about to do the same for another beloved Ethiopian gift to the world, coffee, via her brand Garden of Coffee which launched in July 2016. Alemu is now poised to open over 100 interactive Garden of Coffee Roastery Cafes in the world’s fastest growing coffee market – China - an incredible undertaking that has fascinated the global coffee world and gained global media coverage.

Alemu is also the founder of perimeter consulting which provides strategic consulting services. Under perimeter she created, launched, and leads Made By Ethiopia, a groundbreaking public-private partnership that is transforming the entire dynamic of Ethiopia’s footwear and leather export sectors, creating over 100,000 new job opportunities and over $1 billion USD in export revenue.

Made By Ethiopia has forged a groundbreaking strategic partnership with the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America [FDRA] to enable some of the world’s top brands to manufacture their footwear in Ethiopia. Alemu lead a historic delegation of the top FDRA member companies to Ethiopia – among them ALDO, CALERES, Under Armour - to engage in sourcing for their brands, with the trip being covered in depth by Business of Fashion Magazine.

Alemu has recently launched GIZA digital, a revolutionary payment and ecommerce platform that aims to transform Ethiopia by creating tens of thousands of digital entrepreneurs. And in June 2018 she launched NoodFoods, a startup dedicated to elevating the snacking experience with their innovative and health-filled fruit and veggie chips and snacks.

In 2018 Alemu launched TeffTasticthe, another ground breaking food brand. TeffTastic is an entire brand crafted in and around teff - the gluten free superfood that is Ethiopia's gift to the world, which many are hailing as the new Quinoa. The brand is reaching incredible heights and Tefftastic was named as One of The Top 6 Trends That Will Shape the Snacks Scene in 2021 by Bakery + Snacks Magazine. Alemu is also currently the founding Managing Director and founding Chairperson of SELAM BANK S.C. She launched Selam Bank in May 2021 with $116.3 million in capital with the aim of creating the largest generation of homeowners in Ethiopian history

In 2022 Alemu was named to The BoF 500 List. The BoF 500 is the definitive professional index of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry; Alemu joins creative icons and Business titans including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Harry Styles, Bernard Arnault, Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada, and Manolo Blahnik on the illustrious list. In February 2023 Alemu was named by the Group of 20 Presidency as Co-Chair of G20 Action Council on African Economic Integration.

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu Videos

  • Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
    Our 2022 Outstanding African Achiever for this week is Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, an Ethiopian businessperson, founder and executive director of...
  • AFRICAN DREAM: CEO & Founder of soleRebels Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
    Get ready to be inspired to live the African Dream with this brand new episode featuring accomplished entrepreneur and business woman, Bethlehem...
  • Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu speaking at UNIDO Investment Forum in Addis Ababa
    Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Chief Executive Officer, soleRebels, Ethiopia, speaking at the First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum in Addis...

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    Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Black History, Business, Business Leaders, Creativity Speakers, Diversity, Entrepreneurism, Innovation, Virtual Speakers.
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Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu for your event is $50,000 - $100,000. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Natalie Nixon, Cynthia Marshall, Alli Webb, Daymond John and Nunu Ntshingila. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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