VENTURES AFRICA – Founder and CEO of eco-sustainable shoe company soleRebels, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu will feature alongside Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of LEGO Group in the first episode of a new BBC World News series, The Ideas Exchange which will premiere on September 1.
The Ideas Exchange which will run for eight series, is a business programme hosting two global business leaders from various industries to discuss their business strategies and today’s business landscape offering viewers practical insight into modern business trends.
The 32 year old Ethiopian, who was listed on Forbes as one of Africa’s most successful women, will have the opportunity to learn from LEGO’s saviour, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp and vice versa as both CEOs interact, sharing experiences and business lessons.
In October 2004, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp a former McKinsey consultant, assumed office as CEO of the ailing LEGO Group after which he changed the direction of LEGO’s nosediving fortunes up north with exemplary managerial style, creativity and rebranding.
The HSBC sponsored show, which will air weekly on BBC World News on Saturdays at 02.30 and 15.30 GMT and Sundays at 09.30 and 21.30 GMT, presents invaluable knowledge to Africa’s emerging entrepreneurs.
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, born and bred in an impoverished area of Addis Ababa, studied accounting and started using eco-friendly materials like vehicle tyres, organic cotton, koba plant fibre, organic jute among others to craft very comfortable footwears in 2004. Today, her company soleRebel is worth almost $2 million employing nearly 300 locals.
She was also selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2011 Young Global Leader.