Champions of Change
Champion of Change
Tebabu Assefa

Tebabu's longtime passion in cultural promotion, work in media to promote African culture, and his use of stories to excite markets for African products has resulted in a new model, which creates international market linkages for higher-value and profit-sharing with farmers and producers to foster and advance economic and social development.

To showcase the model, Tebabu founded Blessed Coffee (BC), a social business that imports, roasts, brands and distributes premium Ethiopian coffee to the wholesale and cottage-café retail market. BC is the second company to register as a Benefit Corporation (a public corporation chartered and produce public benefit as well as profit) in the State of Maryland. BC connects 200,000 small coffee farmers, organized under the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) in Ethiopia, with the specialty coffee consumer in the US market. BC shares profits with the OCFCU to support the Union's social program, opening schools, health clinics, safe water wells and other social programs in the coffee-growing region. Tebabu aspires to present the Blessed Coffee as an alternative business model to the African community in the US, to encourage them to follow suit and establish businesses that advance US-Africa cultural and economic ties for development in Africa, and here in our American communities.