Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu wins Most Valuable Entrepreneur award at 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Week [GEW]

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder & managing director of soleRebels, Africa’s fastest growing footwear brand, has been awarded the prestigious Most Valuable Entrepreneur (MVE) award during a special event at the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Week [GEW] in Ethiopia.

 “I am honored to be given this award. I accept it with the full knowledge that not simply hard work, but good fortune and having a great team beside me, have allowed me to achieve my dreams. That is the true power of entrepreneurship - it involves not only an idea and a single person, but also those who will follow that idea, dedicate themselves to it and make it a living and breathing reality. It is within this process that greater shared prosperity for the many can be achieved.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011, the world's largest celebration of entrepreneurship, features millions of people participating in thousands of events in more than 100 countries and all 50 United States. Events are held November 14-20, 2011, to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. Now in its fourth year, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) will bring together aspiring and inspiring entrepreneurs, helping them embrace originality, imagination and ingenuity through local, national and global activities.

GEW has grown exponentially since its inaugural event in 2008. Last year more than 7.5 million people took part in an estimated 37,000 events across 104 countries and this year more than 10 million people in 102 countries are expected to participate. Co-founded by the Kauffman Foundation and Enterprise UK, a business-led, government-backed campaign in the United Kingdom, GEW helps develop young people's knowledge, skills and networks to inspire them to grow sustainable enterprises. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and others will participate in a host of activities that are virtual and face-to-face events, large-scale competitions and intimate networking gatherings.

Ethiopia joins 119 nations to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship week from November 14 to 20. Michael Fekade, Chief Executive Officer of Empact Capital Partners, LLC, the host of the weeklong event, says it will give young people an opportunity to network. Aspiring entrepreneurs will be encouraged to foster creativity to build businesses.

Bethlehem received the award in front of a packed audience of over 300 at the GEW Ethiopia forum on "Entrepreneurship in Ethiopia" , held today at Addis Ababa University .

Addis Ababa University Faculty of Business and Economics hosted this event where Bethlehem spoke alongside fellow Ethiopian entrepreneurs Ermias Amelga founder of Access Capital , about the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship based on their personal stories and experiences. Girma Wolde-Giorgis, the president of Ethiopia, expressed his excitement for the country's first-ever celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

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