This Guy Makes Hipster Shoes in Africa, but Don’t Call Him a Social Entrepreneur

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When he was 24, Tal Dehtiar found himself on a bus with a gun at his head.

He was hitchhiking through South America at the time, fresh off of graduating from business school. It was while on a bus in Brazil that a gunman boarded, demanding that everyone hand over their belongings.

Dehtiar refused. He told the attacker that he thought the gun was fake and, after an intense exchange, the man jumped off the bus. To this day, he doesn’t know whether the gun was real or not.

“I am just a stubborn mule, that’s really what it is,” the 34-year-old says. Dehtiar was born in Israel, though his Russian parents moved the family to Canada when he was still a baby.

Dehtiar’s stubbornness, which arguably borders on craziness, is also what supports his entrepreneurial passion. His company, Oliberte, makes fashionable footwear out of a Fair Trade certified factory in Ethiopia’s capital, a region steeped in poverty and corruption.

Unlike some of its competitors, Oliberte doesn’t offer a “buy-one-give-one” model of charity. The company gives back in a more traditional way: by providing good, stable jobs to people who need them.

 

Source: Entrepreneur (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Entrepreneurship
Tags
social enterprise, social entrepreneurship