The Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2019 was released on 13 November and lots of young African entrepreneurs made the list. The annual list, now in its eight edition, and which recognizes accomplished young people in various industries, highlights 600 young revolutionaries and risk-takers who are changing the world.
The defining voice of entrepreneurial capitalism, Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. According to Forbes, “these innovators are shaking up some of the world’s stodgiest industries… Choosing these honourees among thousands of nominees is long and daunting, a three-layer process that relies on the knowledge and authority of our wide-reaching community, skilled reporters and expert judges.”
The Forbes class of 2019 30 Under 30 list, includes 30 honorees for each of the 20 categories, among which immigrants and people of African descent also feature in.
In this year’s list, 28 year old Ghanaian-American computer scientist and digital activist, Joy Buolamwini is celebrated in the enterprise and technology section. Buolamwini is the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, which identifies biases in algorithms.
Olaoluwa Osuntokun, a 25-year-old Nigerian who founded Lightning Labs which has raised $2.5 million to turn bitcoin into a more viable form of payment by making smaller transactions more cost-effective, was found in the finance section, while Nigerian co-founders Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia, and Dimeji Sofowora were included in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Helium Health, a friendly data driven platform that allows health facilities store and manage patients’ data easily, used by 5,000 doctors, with data from 500,000 patients across West Africa.
Nigerian immigrant Taofeek Abijako, featured in the Arts&Style section, is a 20-year-old fashion designer who started his men’s streetwear brand, Head of State+ when he was a high school
teenager. Kayode Ojo, a 28-year-old photographer who has had a great year with solo shows in Paris, Berlin, New York and Dallas. Ghanaian, Shadrack Frimpong became the first person from his village in Ghana to attend college in the U.S. There, he won the $150,000 President’s Engagement Prize and started Cocoa360. It has pioneered the ‘farm-for-impact’ model, using revenues from community cocoa farms to fund educational and healthcare services. In less than 3 years, it has cared for 3,000 patients and currently educates 120 young girls.
Nigerians, Communication expert, Obi Omile Jr.,co-founder of the Cut, a technology platform that allows users and barbers to schedule and manage appointments, and Emmanuel Acho, 28, who serves as the youngest national football analyst for ESPN also feature on the list, while Libyan born senior copywriter at Droga5, Nedal Ahmed (29), makes the list in the marketing and advertising section.
This year, the Forbes U30 list featured a diverse and unique panel of 300 trailblazers from 20 industries with average age of 26.8 with over 55 per cent of them being founders or co-founders. Also, 19 per cent of them include immigrants from 57 countries, and 38 of them identify as first generation Americans.
“After nearly a decade, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list has become the most trusted index identifying the next generation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and game-changers throughout the world,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer, Forbes and creator of the Forbes Under 30 franchise. “Our honorees have already begun implementing fundamental change in their respective industries, and they’ve only just begun.”
More than 15,000 online submissions were received for only 600 slots, making it a 4 percent acceptance rate