President of Oliberté Footwear to Speak at Southeastern April 25
March 20, 2013
Social entrepreneur Tal Dehtiar, named one of Fast Company's Most Creative Business
People for 2012, will speak on "Doing Good and Doing Well" at Southeastern Louisiana University's 2013 Ethics in Business Lecture at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 25.
The lecture, sponsored by the College of Business, is free and open to the public.
Dehtiar, 31, co-founded MBAs Without Borders, an international charity that has engaged hundreds of experienced MBAs from around the world to volunteer and help build small and social businesses in more than 25 developing countries. In 2009, he left that nonprofit to launch Oliberté Footwear, the first premium shoe brand made in sub-Saharan Africa.
Unlike the widely popular Toms Shoes—which gives a pair of shoes away in developing nations for each pair purchased—Oliberté isn't about charity but about creating stable jobs, Dehtiar says. "The last thing I want someone to do is buy our shoes because they feel bad. If the product didn't sell itself, it wouldn't matter where it was coming from," he explains. To that end, Oliberté's partner factories and main operation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, demonstrate fair and equitable practices for men and women, with the goal of contributing to the development of a thriving middle class. It is also environmentally conscious in its leather tanning processes and uses crepe rubber instead of toxic man-made alternatives.
"Mr. Dehtiar is proving that profitability and social responsibility can go hand in hand," said College of Business Dean Randy Settoon. "He is part of a new generation of social entrepreneurs who are completely redefining the corporate model. We are pleased to host him on campus so he can share his experiences with Southeastern students."
Dehtiar, a proud Canadian, is a recipient of the Ontario Global Trader Award, the Arch Award, and was nominated for the YMCA Peace Award and nominated for Canada's Top 40 Under 40 and Ernst & Young's Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2007, he was named one of the International Youth Foundation's Young Social Entrepreneurs and recently named one of Fast Company's Most Creative Business People for 2012. He received his MBA from McMaster University and has a BA from the University of Western Ontario.