Company Name: Oliberté
Dehtiar, who lives in Ontario, Canada, is founder and president of Oliberté, a start-up that hopes to produce casual footwear in Africa and sell it to socially minded consumers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond. Oliberté -- a name Dehtiar made up by combining the "Oh" in "Oh Canada!" with the French word for freedom -- is a for-profit company, but Dehtiar believes it is "profit with a purpose." To Dehtiar, that means building the company using fair trade principles such as guaranteeing factory workers a fair wage, paying farmers above market price for raw materials and keeping environmental impacts in mind.
Dehtiar envisions a shoe company that uses natural rubber from Liberia, harvested from hevea trees and processed locally. The company would then ship the rubber in sheets to Ethiopia, where workers in factories would cut it into soles and combine it with cow, sheep and goat leather from Ethiopian farmers. Shoes would be sold online and in exclusive shops in cities worldwide. As sales grow, Dehtiar hopes to expand operations to as many as 10 African nations.