“This is the most important list of the year for Forbes Africa. If one young African reads it and is inspired enough to start a business it has done its job,” says Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa.
The list was edited by Ancillar Mangena, a Forbes Africa journalist and an under 30 herself. She spent months looking for the best, this continent has to offer. Research coupled with nominations from readers brought the number to 250 potential under 30s. The team worked for weeks, verifying and investigating, to whittle it down.
The team favoured entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and took into account their business size, location, potential, struggles and determination. A panel of judges then debated the final 30.
The list has entrepreneurs from around the continent, from Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Tanzania, Benin, Gambia, Zimbabwe and many more.
Nadav Ossendryver, Siya Beyile, Inga Gubeka, Emmanuel Bonoko and Mogau Seshoene represent South Africa. Nkosana Mazibisa is the only Zimbabwean on the list, Momarr Mass Taal representing Gambia, Hanta Tiana Ranaivo Rajaonarisoa for Madagascar, Vital Sounouvou for Benin, Kelvin Doe for Sierra Leone, William Elong for Cameroon and Fatoumata BA for Senegal. Nigerians on the list include Uneku Atawodi and Obinwanne Okeke; and Kenyans include Barclay Okari and Joel Macharia.
“This has been a very long but interesting journey. I think I am more excited about the list a little more than the entrepreneurs. I have become attached to each and every one of them because the vetting process was so long and I had to talk to them often. I am confident they are the billionaires of tomorrow. Peruse them, argue over them and follow their journeys. We find this list exciting, thought provoking and forward looking,” says Mangena of Forbes Africa.
You may not know many of their names now, but, in 20 years’ time, they could be on the cover of Forbes Africa.