Bethlehem Tilahun, the strong woman behind soleRebels, The Republic of Leather artisan coffee roaster Garden, Perimeter consulting, Giza digital, TeffTastic, and Selam Bank, has been inducted into the Global Business Hall of Fame for 2022.

The Global Business Hall of Fame in which Bethlehem Tilahun Inducted into is  presented by JA Worldwide, is a virtual exhibit that features top entrepreneurs and business leaders spanning the last two centuries.

What Bethlehem Tilahun has been able to achieve.

In 2005 Bethlehem founded soleRebels. Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, and Amazon are among the companies that sell the company’s products in 30 countries across the world. In Austria, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, the company plans to open franchise and company-owned stores. soleRebels promote Ethiopia by manufacturing and marketing the seleate or barabasso, a traditional recycled tire-sole shoe type.

In 2014 Bethlehem launched The Republic of Leather. The Republic of Leather is built on concepts of customer choice and maker support, with 5% of the purchase price going back to both the producer and charity, in addition to preaching the same ideas of ecological and economic sustainability as soleRebels.

In 2017 Bethlehem founded artisan coffee roaster Garden of Coffee to celebrate Ethiopian coffee heritage and culture by providing the highest-quality hand-roasted coffee in the world. CNN Money called it “Africa’s answer to Starbucks” and said Bethlehem built “Ethiopia’s first global coffee brand by applying her ethical ethos.” In 2022, Garden of Coffee is poised to open over 100 interactive roastery cafes in China.

She is also the founder of perimeter consulting, a strategic consulting firm, Made by Ethiopia, a breakthrough public-private partnership that is reshaping Ethiopia’s footwear and leather export sector, Giza digital, a payment and ecommerce platform and a snack startup NoodFoods, and food brand TeffTastic.

In May 2021, Bethlehem launched Selam Bank. With US$116.3 million in capital, Selam Bank aims to create the largest generation of homeowners in Ethiopian history.

Bethlehem has contributed to the creation of over 100,000 new jobs and over $1 billion in export earnings through Made by Ethiopia. Her soleRebels company alone sold 125,000 pairs and created 1,200 jobs.

Her worldwide acclaim.

Various groups recognized Bethlehem on a global scale. Bethlehem was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011. Forbes included her on its 100 Most Powerful list and lauded her as a Woman to Watch in 2012, Business Insider named her one of Africa’s Top 5 Female Entrepreneurs, Arise Magazine named her one of 100 Dynamic Women who are Shaping Modern Africa.

In addition Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2013, she served as a counselor at the One Young World Summit, and readers of The Guardian named her one of Africa’s Top Women Achievers. Bethlehem was named as one of CNN’s 12 Female Entrepreneurs Who Changed the Way We Do Business in 2014 and in 2022 Inducted into the Global Business Hall of Fame.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (03 Jun 2022)


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