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Oliberte Gives Aid to Africa

New shoe line aims to raise the standard of living in Liberia and Ethiopia.

Entreprenuer Tal Dehtiar, president of newly launched Oliberté, is reaching out to impoverished communities in Africa with a line of footwear produced on the continent.

Dehtiar, who formerly ran MBAs Without Borders, a charitable organization that helped build small businesses around the world, is continuing his humanitarian work, this time by helping develop the footwear and components industries in Liberia and Ethiopia. Tapping into the resources and craftsmanship available in these countries, Dehtiar has developed a line of men’s and women’s urban-casuals, set to hit stores in October.

By bringing work to these nations, he said he hopes to raise the standard of living for its citizens through employment opportunities. “It’s not about charity,” said Dehtiar, “but creating jobs and building a middle class.” In addition, he plans to use the company’s production muscle to encourage fair business practices between factories and employees. “We’re going to put pressure on factories to meet certain standards,” said Dehtiar. “It’s about raising the bar for factories and how they treat workers.”

Targeted at fashion stores with a social consciousness, the collection retails for $60 to $100 for men’s and $55 to $100 for women’s. The shoes are also available on the Oakville, Ontario-based company’s Website, Oliberte.com.

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