Africa is a continent full of richness and potential. It's a continent whose resources are on the verge of making an impact on our global market. Some people see it and others don't. But for Canadian entrepreneur, Tal Dehtiar, he believes in the business potential of Africa. Dehtiar, is the founder of Oliberté, a line of footwear manufactured exclusively in Africa. This is the first international company to manufacture shoes entirely in Africa to be sold in other countries.
With factories in Ethiopia, Liberia and Kenya, the company has plans to continue its expansion throughout the continent. Dehtiar maintains a company mandate of developing business in Africa along with improved employment opportunities. The leather used for manufacturing is sourced exclusively in Africa, the employees are all local and he even makes sure to employ a workforce that includes nearly 50% women in both factory and administrative positions. The goal is to create enough jobs that help to develop and build a middle class in African countries.
Dehtiar says, "The only real way to alleviate poverty on this beautiful continent is to build a middle class with fair paying jobs."
He has appeared on the Canadian television show, Dragon's Den, twice presenting his business model with the hopes of getting an investment opportunity. Unfortunately, the 'Dragons' didn't see the return on investment and he left without an offer to support his venture.
Despite lack of investment, Oliberté continues to see a steady growth in sales with its product line expanding and sold in stores in Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, U.S.A and Finland. Even celebrities including Snoop Dogg and K'Naan have been spotted wearing Oliberté footwear.
The styles are simple and classic yet very stylish. Popular styles include the lace up chukka style boot and the lace up euro-style sneaker. Quality in each pair is of most importance. Made with leather uppers and rubber crepe soles, the shoes are also re-enforced with hand stitching giving each pair a personal touch.
Watch the video below to hear from the company founder as he shows some of the styles available.
If you don't live in a country where shoes are sold, you can always order online at www.oliberte.com
Follow Oliberté on twitter at http://twitter.com/oliberte