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soleRebels named WINNER at 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship


Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu and Richard BransonsoleRebels wins $50,000 USD prize at Africa’s elite business awards and gains business icon Sir Richard Branson as new fan!

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – soleRebels Africa’s fastest growing footwear brand bested over 3000 top level African companies and was named one of 5 winners of the prestigious 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship ! .

Company founder and managing director Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu accepted the award on behalf of the company last night in Nairobi at a gala attended by many luminaries of global business including Sir Richard Branson who is now a dedicated fan of the company!

“ I am elated by this award. It is recognition that soleRebels is at the forefront of a new business paradigm on the continent , one where African driven businesses and brands are elevating Africa’s global competitiveness by winning in the global marketplace !” stated Bethlehem .

The Awards , dubbed the Nobel of Business Awards in Africa , honors Africa’s best entrepreneurs who work to create businesses that meet the needs of those around them and by doing so raise the living standards of their communities while also creating something of lasting value for themselves, their employees, their communities and their nations . The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is owned and founded by Legatum a private investment group, based in Dubai, with a twenty-five year heritage of global investing. They manage a multi-billion dollar fund of proprietary capital which is allocated to businesses and programmes that promote sustainable development.

Legatum is joined by Omidyar Network as a major sponsor of the 2011 Africa Awards. Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $400 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media.

“This years Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship had over 3,300 top companies in 48 African countries, all who went through vigorous multistage vetting , and all who were competing for ONLY 6 final awards ! This was the most competitive field the Awards has ever seen. soleRebels selection as a winner tonight puts the company into a very special category of business achievement ”, commented Hamish Banks, Head of Corporate Communications for Legatum. 

Google is also a partner of the 2011 Africa Awards . Their mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google's strategy in Africa is to get more users online by developing an accessible, relevant and sustainable internet ecosystem.

  • Reducing access as a barrier to all potential users
  • Making the Internet relevant and useful to Africans
  • Helping strengthen an Internet ecosystem in Africa that is vibrant, and sustainable and self-sufficient in the long- term

The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is collaborating with Google in exploring a number of initiatives to promote African entrepreneurship within the scope of the Africa Awards programme.

soleRebels' Founder and Sir Richard Branson

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu at Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship

soleRebels Accepting Africa Award for Entrepreneurship