What can you achieve by the age of thirty?
A lot, it transpires.
A new list compiled by Forbes Africa has set out to prove that age is no barrier to success, profiling thirty top entrepreneurs on the continent who have yet to reach that milestone.
They range from tech startups to medical solutions; food production to the media. Despite their diverse backgrounds they all share one thing in common: the drive and vision to succeed in the booming African market.
Alain Nteff, developer of the Gifted Mom app and recent winner of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award heads the list alongside serial entrepreneur Ludwick Marishane and air ambulance pioneer Olamide Orekunrin all make an appearance in the roundup.
Speaking on how young minds are transforming the continent, Nigeria-based Orekunrin, 29, says: “Africa desperately needs more entrepreneurs.
“I think it’s important that Forbes has decided to bring its global brand to the continent and that it’s showcasing African entrepreneurship.”
What makes an entrepreneur?
South African Bheki Kunene, 27, founder of Mind Trix Media, sought autonomy as the end goal of his entrepreneurship. Running a business, he says, allowed him to have “dominion over all aspects of [his] life.”
Similarly, internet supplier Rupert Bryant, 29,says “challenging the status quo” and a strict sense of independence was integral to his success.
However Byrant, who dropped out of school at 14 to start his first web development company, says no entrepreneur makes it entirely on their own. He admits to having been “very lucky to always have exceptional people around me to inspire, guide and motivate me.”
But being a top businessmind means thinking outside of the box – and beyond your own country’s borders.
Clinton Mutambo, 25, has set up a digital hub for intra-African trade. Called Esaja, the site allows suppliers and buyers from the continent to come together in a virtual borderless economy.
Drawing on his upbringing in an economically turbulent Zimbabwe, he realized the businesses “that survived were ultimately those that had embraced seemingly less attractive African markets.” Mutambo, therefore, sought to open up such markets.
“The recognition by Forbes Africa,” he says, “is a humbling experience.”
Click through the gallery above to read more about the continent’s top entrepreneurs.