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Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu named Social Entrepreneur of The Year at World Economic Forum

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
Nobel Prize laureate and father of microfinance Muhammad Yunus , Music icon Quincy Jones and other global luminaries from Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship select footwear icon to receive award ; 1st Ethiopian to ever win this award

Davos, Switzerland / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship announced today that Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu , Founder and CEO of soleRebels , has received the Foundation's Social Entrepreneur of The Year Award at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa taking place now in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [May 9th-11th].

“We deeply believe that economic as well as social progress can best be achieved through entrepreneurship.” said Schwab Foundation Chairman & co-founder Klaus Schwab. “ Bethlehem embodies the vision and values of the global social entrepreneur community, and we are proud to honour her exemplary work in creating a highly innovative , ethical and sustainable business that continues to make a strong social impact with this special award.”

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is the planets foremost platform dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies and address social problems. Chaired by World Economic Forum founder Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, its board is comprised of an array of global luminaries including Legendary Global Music Producer and Icon Quincy Jones; Nobel Prize laureate, father of micro finance + Managing Director of Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus; David Gergen Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; acclaimed best-selling author Paulo Coelho; Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant.

The board selected Bethlehem to receive this award for her pioneering achievements in making soleRebels the fastest growing African footwear brand on the planet , the worlds first fair trade footwear company and a global brand that creates award winning products , creative employment opportunities in her community and equitable and sustainable growth!

“I am truly honored that the Schwab Foundation Board has chosen to recognize me in this manner. I proudly share this recognition with every single one of the talented, industrious, committed and cultured people who everyday work alongside me to make soleRebels what it is - the coolest artisan driven footwear company on the planet .” said Bethlehem .

The award will be presented to Bethlehem by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum in a special gala ceremony to be held TONIGHT at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa taking place now in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [May 9th-11th] in the presence of all Forum delegates . Bethlehem is the first Ethiopian to ever win this prestigious award!

The awards will be broadcast LIVE via livestream (18:00-18.30 Thursday Ethiopia time) via the website and these channels:

Hailed for BOTH creating award winning products and their model of equitable and sustainable growth, soleRebels is being showcased to World Economic Forum delegates in a series of interactive site visits to the company’s artisan driven factory and soleRebels innovative flagship retail location , the very 1st private African company to ever be profiled by the Forum in this manner.