21 August 2009

Social Entrepreneur example: Oliberté Footwear from Africa!

Working at UNDP in my professional life... I do have a passion for Social Entrepreneurs in my private life. Despite all the red-tape and challenges, they are the ones who push for development with business spirit, in many cases with social rather profit goals.

So when I heard that Tal Dehtiar started "Oliberté Footwear" I was curious. I know Tal from founding and running MBAs without Borders until starting Oliberté. This footwear venture is positioned as "1st Urban Brand from Africa", so hopefully it will show Africa's "Yes, we can" attitude.

"Oliberté is a new revolution showcasing the true potential of Africa. Every time someone buys a pair of Oliberté shoes, they are showing to the world that Africa is more than just poverty - that it is full of pride, power and liberty" said Tal Dehtiar. "All the attention on Africa is focused on alleviating poverty, but the only real way to alleviate poverty on this beautiful continent is to build a middle class that includes fair paying jobs. The more shoes sold, the more fair jobs will be created at local factories where Oliberté works, which ultimately changes lives for the better."

By 2015, Oliberté looks to work in over 10 countries in Africa to source material, accessories and manufacture its shoes that will be sold from Canada to USA to Europe to Australia to Japan. "If we wanted to make cheap shoes, we'd simple go to Asia, but this is NOT about cheap shoes or labour. This is about premium quality and fashionable footwear that creates fair paying jobs in the poorest countries of the world. Pride. Power. Liberty. This is the real Africa. This is Oliberté."

Changing the world to the better with every shoe!?