30 is neither too young nor too old, but it is an excellent age to conquer the world. The younger generation of changemakers and industry leaders often have to face opinions from those before them for doing things differently. But with the immense contributions, they are putting on the table, be it in technology, medicine, architecture, politics, literature, entertainment, and many other fields, they are proving that doing it differently can work and is sometimes the best option for the world to cope with the times. Millennials and Gen Zs have had their fair share of difficulties, including manifesting the strength to survive the pandemic. To adapt to the “new normal,” the younger generation had to create strategies that did not exist before to continually scale their businesses and careers, making them some of the toughest and resilient generations. From hundreds of influential individuals, we have determined the 30 most notable leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs who are creating lasting impacts in their industries.
- Ariana Grande
With over 60 million monthly listeners on Spotify, there does not seem to be anyone who hasn’t heard of Ariana Grande.
An award-winning hitmaker who first won the hearts of Nickelodeon viewers, Ariana Grande is an actress, singer, and songwriter. She rose to prominence as “Cat Valentine” on the teen series “Victorious” and has continued to gain momentum since.
In 2011, she made her music debut with the pop single “Put Your Hearts Up.” The track gained her a devoted following and became the catapult for her subsequently released chart-topping hits. Among these awarded songs are “Bang Bang,” “One Last Time,” “Problem,” “Dangerous Woman,” “Thank U, Next,” “God Is a Woman,” “7 Rings,” “34+35,” and her 2021 GRAMMY winning collab with Lady Gaga “Rain On Me.”
- Lil Nas X
Montero Lamar Hill, more popularly known as “Lil Nas X,” is the 22-year old music artist dominating headlines and charts today.
Rapper, singer, and songwriter Lil Nas X was barely 20 years old when he first rose to fame. It was early 2019, and the young multi-talented performer had dropped his country rap track “Old Town Road (Remix)” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. The song climbed atop the Billboard charts and currently holds over half a billion views on YouTube.
Following the overwhelming success of the single, Lil Nas X released the EPs and albums “7,” “Panini,” “Rodeo,” “HOLIDAY,” and the chart-topping hit “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name).” Lil Nas X recently returned to the music scene with his 2021 track “SUN GOES DOWN.”
- Shawn Mendez
A highly-followed pop singer, songwriter, and personality, Shawn Mendes is the record-breaking artist who made waves in the music industry at only 15 years old.
At that age, Shawn, who had just signed with Island Records after winning a cover-song contest, made his official music debut with “Life of the Party.” The song captivated international attention and propelled the singer to become the youngest artist to debut under Billboard Hot 100’s Top 25 list.
From then on, he continued to produce veritable chart-toppers such as “Treat You Better,” “There’s Nothing is Holdin’ Me Back,” “Lost in Japan,” and “Señorita,” which made him a three-time Grammy nominee and a Juno award-winner. Last December 4, 2020, Shawn Mendes returned to the industry with his fourth studio album “Wonder.”
- Albano Gega
Albano Gega is the CEO and co-founder of Alza Ventures, a premier career coaching and startup consultancy. Additionally, he serves as an advisor in edtech, green tech, and SaaS companies. Over the years, Albano had the privilege of coaching hundreds of individuals including retired athletes, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other industry professionals. His clients come from the United States, the UAE, the UK, and Europe, and have landed interviews and offers from powerhouses such as Uber, Google, Blackrock, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Pinterest, Robinhood, Twitter, and more!
Previously, Albano played professional soccer in Europe, founded an edtech company, and exited in twenty-four months.
- Chirag Sheth
Chirag Paresh Sheth is an author, leadership speaker, and life coach. At the age of 21, he became the World’s Youngest Leadership Speaker addressing hundreds of industry leaders and professionals. Chirag has delivered over 100 leadership seminars and youth empowerment talks to over 30,000 individuals across the globe. Chirag is best known for his book entitled A2Z of Motivation, a popular choice for CEOs, directors, and senior business professionals who seek to elevate their leadership skills.
Readers applaud the author for highlighting real-life scenarios in his book, featuring stories from global leaders such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Doing his part to lift people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chirag offered free counseling sessions to create an impact on others. Chirag aspires to work for and with students, the youth worldwide and make the world a better place for the younger generation. At 14, Chirag co-authored a book called Tales of Jalaram Bapa with his younger brother.
- Josias Jean-Pierre
Josias Jean-Pierre is an author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker who is making a name for himself in the speaking industry. His message has transformed over thousands of lives which led him to become one of the powerful voices for his generation at the age of 27. At birth, the Haitian native was diagnosed with epilepsy and fell in a category of Special ED. Educators gave up on him due to his learning disability and he was told that he won’t amount to anything because of his learning disability.
Today, Josias authored two powerful books called, “The Power of Your Words” and “What is Your Why Behind The Drive.” These books are a testament to the hard work where he has grasped the eyes of his generation to be inspired, motivated, and to continue fighting the good fight.
Josias has centered his attention on helping others overcome their own problems. The work that he does has grabbed the attention of other publications like, NY Weekly, The American Reporter, Fox34, NBC, CBS, Influencive, & Yahoo Finance, where he was featured as one of the top 10 inspirational African Americans of 2021. Josias Jean-Pierre’s mission is to keep bringing messages of transformation to show others that they may not be able to control the deck of cards given to them but they can control what cards they choose to carry with them.
- Parker McCumber
Parker McCumber is the CEO of ORO Tactical and a US Army veteran turned entrepreneur. Over the past 4 years, Parker has built a number of ecommerce sites and established himself as a leader in the online retail space. Parker is an expert in leadership and team building, who draws on his military experience to develop successful business practices for his companies and clients. Parker is also passionate about self-improvement. Parker is now looking to share his personal success story to help others find personal and professional growth.
- Daniel Beule
Grizzye is a brand and a person but it’s also an idea. It’s an idea originating from art but including other themes like science or sports. His influences range from movies, comics, and collectibles to fashion, music and art. He takes inspiration from other artists, authors, and directors. He looks up to people who write their own projects, shoot it, compose it, and star in it. He says, “I think we lack authenticity in such an ephemeral world.” Grizzye aims to bring a more realistic approach to the world.
- Shahrez Hayder
Shahrez Hayder is a Canadian entrepreneur and the founder of Hayder Enterprises—a company known to build profitable businesses in record times using advanced business/marketing systems and applied psychology. Hayder has been dubbed the King of Systems by multiple publications for his expertise in engineering business systems.
Hayder’s team has produced and consulted in multiple seven- and eight-figure businesses.
Inside the enterprises, Hayder has a marketing company and a publishing company that fuels the growth of his businesses. His team is helping businesses engineer sales systems and other crucial systems and processes that help businesses increase bandwidth and revenue.
- Logan Weiss
Logan Weiss from Parkland, Florida, is the CEO of Longpole Life, Inc., an e-commerce business that sells various lacrosse-themed apparel and gifts. He is a fourteen-year-old honor roll student getting ready to begin high school in August 2021. Logan is a member of the 2025 Stealth Lacrosse National Team playing in the World Series of Youth Lacrosse (summer 2021) and a member of the North Broward Preparatory High School Varsity Lacrosse team. In his spare time, Logan likes to work out, hang with friends and his dog Vader, play video games, and stream as a Twitch affiliate.
- Zack Holland
In under a year, in the midst of a pandemic, Zack Holland has been able to explode onto the marketing scene with his multi-million dollar Brooklyn-based concept, SelectFew. With a stable of notable startups such as Brightline Health and Jambys as clients, Holland has revolutionized the process of outsourcing marketing with his unique system of managed-distributed teams.
SelectFew pairs clients with an experienced marketing strategist who functions as a fractional marketing director, who then designs and manages a transparent team of vetted freelance specialists in a flexible system month-to-month. The result is a modern take on growth that’s efficient, effective, and honest.
- Desiree’ Stapleton
Desiree’ is a certified master life coach, author, and CEO that coaches women that have experienced trauma on how to rediscover their voice and honor themselves so they can start living the life they have always envisioned.
After going from suicidal ideation and suffering in silence to being deemed a happiness expert by news officials, she now uses her experience to help others see that there is life on the other side of their struggles and that they, too, can use their past traumas, setbacks, and challenges as stepping stones to success.
In addition to being a certified master life coach, she is a certified mindfulness, happiness, life purpose, goal success, general, and mental health life coach.
Desiree’ is also a contributor for Entrepreneur.com and has been seen in numerous publications such as Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, Ticker, FOX, and CBS News.
- Mylan Dockery
Mylan Dockery (born July 2, 1990) is an American film/television producer, entrepreneur, and occasionally, a screenwriter. Armed with a robust educational background in the entertainment business and media communications, Mylan started his career in the entertainment and marketing industry around the age of twenty-one.
One of Dockery’s recent successes is a gripping 2020 film, The Vanished, that has received loads of attention and, not surprisingly, reached the number two spot on Netflix’s top ten list before settling in at number four. (The movie has already surpassed popular titles like Homefront, Penguins of Madagascar, and We Can Be Heroes.) The film amassed 195 million minutes viewing threshold in one week (January 2021) on Netflix, as reported by global marketing research firm Nielsen.com.
As an entrepreneur, Mylan has made a highly respected name as a consultant for high-profile personal and business brands, assisting them in terms of crafting and managing their digital footprint and operations. Mylan is involved in several sectors of brand building, from designing premium social media strategies and networking to marketing campaigns and providing guidance on the best business practices.
- Amanda Knutson
Amanda Knutson is a senior airman in the US Air Force working as a weapons armament specialist for the F-35. She is also an analog astronaut, having completed the second ever all-female Sensoria mission at the HI-SEAS facility in Hawaii. While working towards her bachelors in mechanical engineering, she is working to complete her two projects: 1) a deep space hydroponics capsule with over 100 different vegetation slots, and 2) a “space depot” (or space gas station) that can help sustain missions in the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn.
- Robert Porter
You can tell a lot about a man by his walk. Robert Porter is no exception to this adage. His walk shows assuredness, relaxed calculatedness, and passion. This passion led him to earn two bachelor’s degrees, one in finance and another in computer science. His interest in tech brought him to decide on Bitcoin back in 2012, which shows us a bit into his foresight abilities. Robert began his entrepreneurial journey in 2011, and he sold his first company in college. He is currently the CEO of Karma the Game of Destiny, an immersive experience designed to bring the world to your fingertips. Karma the Game of Destiny is set to launch globally this summer. Robert is passionate about gaming and tech. The longer one speaks with him, the more visible his passion becomes. When one speaks to him, they know they are looking at the future.
- Shannon-Elizabeth Reilly
Shannon-Elizabeth is a 29 year-old model from Miami. She’s signed with Modo Models Agency from Milan and is a host and spokesmodel for Runway Rogue. Shannon can be seen on TV on FNL Network.
Two years ago, she made an OnlyFans, which truly changed her life financially. Shannon came from absolutely nothing and has been blessed with the opportunity after fighting and never giving up in climbing to the top. With a burning drive and her humility, Shannon keeps on moving forward. “I remain humble each day because I know the feeling of having bare minimum. Never judge a human with some tattoos and no degree. They might just shock you like I did,” she said.
- Flor Kapitzky
For aspiring and established entrepreneurs in the service industry and individuals pursuing financial freedom through cryptocurrency, the name Flor Kapitzky is not an unfamiliar one.
Flor Kapitzky is an internationally admired Brazilian-born entrepreneur and model who has since branched out to success in cryptocurrency.
Due to her outstanding reputation, Flor was recently invited for an exclusive photoshoot and feature. She is set to be on the cover of Maxim Australia for the August edition.
- Kody Amburgey
Kody is a twenty-seven-year-old serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor. After studying finance and economics, he began his career on Wall Street in investment banking and venture capitalism. He then broke into startup land, moving to Silicon Valley as co-founder and CEO of Zebra, a high-growth consumer mobility company which raised over $15 million from top VCs. He has gone on to found multiple e-commerce companies with millions in run-rate revenue, manage his freelance consulting business, Amburgey LLC, and angel-invest in or advise for 20+ startups. He now plans to join an innovative social media startup as their new CEO.
- Kamal Farid
Kamal Farid is an entrepreneur, CEO, and founder of Imperium Group, a construction-focused group of companies. Imperium Group diversifies their activities across design consultancy services, construction of high-end residential homes. Lately, Imperium group has acquired multiple sites to extend their activities to include developments of new build homes.
Through the group’s offices in the southeast, mainlands, and north of England, Kamal’s expansion plan is to introduce a customer-focused group of companies that can operate across the UK and Europe. With the aim to bring to the industry a customer-focused group of companies that can operate across the UK and the major cities in Europe.
Kamal is also the founder of Green Miles Tech. Green Miles Tech is the world’s first carbon negative solution for all hard surfaces such as roads and pavements by using a unique combination of secondary used aggregates, waste products, and carbon-negative aggregates, which absorb more carbon in the manufacturing process than the carbon emitted per square meter paved.
Green Miles Tech could, therefore, turn the pavement sector in the UK from one emitting CO2 to being carbon negative. With the countless miles paved every day in the UK, Green Miles Tech is able to turn the roads and pavements all over Britain into the equivalent of planting forests.
- Leikyn Bravo
Leikyn Bravo is a twenty-three-year-old singer and songwriter who has shared music in over forty-five countries across six different continents. In addition to debuting her solo album Songs You’ll Never Hear in 2021, she has taken a Chicago Broadway stage, walked runway, toured, had music air on radio stations, had a song published in an IMDb movie, and started two successful companies. She finished her undergrad program in just two years at Berklee College of Music and graduated summa cum laude. Leikyn looks forward to sharing her music with an increasing audience and supporting her companies as they grow.
- Shane O’Rourke
Shane O’Rourke is the founder and CEO of a start-up company, a brand, and a nonprofit. His passion to make a significant and lasting impact culminated in his charity, Lift Up, for those who need it most. It is a trusted digital fundraising platform aiming to make it easy for people to change the world. In two short years, Lift Up has provided clean water, education, housing, healthcare, and hunger relief to over 105,000 people in need. Shane is now cultivating a powerful partnership between the corporate and charity space to maximize impact.
- Emily Rose
Emily Rose is a celebrity hairstylist and CEO of Meraki. Meraki is a salon collective with a focus on sustainability and ethical beauty. Her passion for ethical beauty began shortly after she started apprenticing at a salon in Atlanta, Georgia. After working twelve hours a day for four years and losing 70 percent of her profits to commission, she decided to go off on her own. She rented a salon suite but, after a few years, felt she was missing the camaraderie and inspiration from other creative stylists. She then opened Meraki, a fully sustainable salon with an emphasis on collaboration between the stylist. She promotes learning and cross marketing between creatives in order to reach a larger audience/clientele. The stylists all have the objective of reducing the beauty industry’s footprint on the planet. This sparked the development of vegan, eco-friendly hair products to promote in the salon.
With the help of her fellow stylist, Emily was able to harness the knowledge of twelve stylists to develop a line worthy of a high-end clientele with sustainability in mind. With growing interest in her brand, Emily plans to open a Meraki franchise in the fall of 2021. Meraki will continue to bring like-minded beauty professionals together, allowing them to grow to a place of ownership in the company. The collective goal will impact the future of the salon model, encouraging independence and collaboration among stylists, making the impact on green beauty grow exponentially.
- DeAndre Hopkins
DeAndre Hopkins (born DeAndre Rashaun Hopkins on June 6, 1992) is an American football player who plays as a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). Before he was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, DeAndre played college football at Clemson, earning the nickname Nuk. Hopkins is a five-time pro bowler and has also been named to five all-pro teams.
Hopkins attended Clemson University, where he played for the university’s football team (Clemson Tigers) from 2010 to 2012. While at Clemson, Hopkins majored in community recreation and sport and camp management.
To give back, DeAndre regularly holds a SMOOOTH back-to-school giveaway that supplies book bags and school supplies for over 2,500 children. SMOOOTH is an acronym that stands for Speaking Mentally Outwardly Opening Opportunities Towards Healing.
- Roddy Ricch
Photo courtesy: Atlantic Records
Roddy Ricch (born Rodrick Wayne Moore Jr. on October 22, 1998) is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He rose to fame and prominence in 2018 when he released his hit single “Die Young,” which peaked at 98 on the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequently, Ricch’s debut and sophomore mixtapes, Feed Tha Streets (2017) and Feed Tha Streets II (2018), also received widespread acclaim.
In 2019, Ricch was featured on Nipsey Hussle’s single “Racks in the Middle,” which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance and on Mustard’s Grammy-nominated single “Ballin’,” which reached the top 20 of the Hot 100.
Ricch has won several accolades, including a Grammy Award from nine nominations, as well as two BET Awards, two BET Hip Hop Awards, and an American Music Award.
- Tomi Adeyemi
Photo courtesy: She Leads Africa Org
Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian American novelist and creative writing coach born on August 1, 1993. The 27-year-old is the author of Children of Blood and Bones, the first novel in a young adult fantasy series Legacy of Orïsha trilogy published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 2018. The novel reached number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the list nearly two years later. The novel earned Adeyemi a host of awards recognition and accolades, including the 2018 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, the 2019 Waterstones Book Prize, and the 2019 Hugo Lodestar Award Best Young Adult Book. She was named in the TIME Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 in the Pioneers category. Children of Blood and Bones is currently being developed as a movie by Lucasfilm.
- Raby Gueye
Photo courtesy: Echoing Green Org
Raby Gueye is a Senegalese immigrant and the founder and CEO of Teach For Senegal, a platform that seeks to raise educational outcomes in Senegal. She hopes that one day, every Senegalese child can feel seen, loved, and liberated. Although originally born in Senegal, Raby moved to the United States at the age of eight, and since then, she has maintained a strong commitment to social justice issues.
Raby holds a bachelor’s degree in global studies and a master’s in elementary education from Arizona University. She assisted with research on gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She translated and shared the stories of rape victims in the DRC for the International Criminal Court.
Raby is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow and was also honored to be featured in Forbes 30 Under 30.
LinkedIn: Raby Gueye
- David Alvarez
David Alvarez (born in Montreal, Quebec, on May 11, 1994) is a Canadian dancer and actor and is mainly recognized for being one of the original Billys in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical.
Alvarez was born to Cuban parents. His father, David Alvarez-Carbonell, is a professor of biology and chemistry while his mother, Yanek, is an actress and director of the theater. His first languages were French and Spanish, and he moved to San Diego with his family when his father took a job at The Scripps Research Institute. Together with his co-stars on Billy Eliot the musical (Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik), Alvarez won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Billy Elliot was nominated for fifteen Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and won ten.
- Brent Faiyaz
Brent Faiyaz (born Christopher Brent Wood on September 19, 1995) is an American singer-songwriter and record producer from Maryland. Born in Columbia, Maryland, to an African American mother and a father from the Dominican Republic, Faiyaz started making music at the age of twelve.
In the early stages of his career, Faiyaz began uploading his experimental music (Black Child EP) on SoundCloud. And in 2014 he moved from his hometown Columbia, Maryland, to Charlotte, North Carolina, before ultimately settling in Los Angeles, California, to further his music career. On January 19, 2015, he released his debut single “Allure,” and a little over a year later, on June 1, 2016, Faiyaz released “Invite Me,” the lead single from his debut EP. On September 19, 2016, his twenty-first birthday, the EP A.M. Paradox was released. For his work on the single “Crew,” where he featured alongside GoldLink and Shy Glizzy, Faiyaz was nominated for the Best Rap/Sung Performance category at the 2018 Grammys.
- Shadrack Frimpong
Photo courtesy: Penn Today
Shadrack Osei Frimpong is a Ghanaian entrepreneur and global health leader. Frimpong was born in 1990 or 1991 in Tarkwa Breman, Ghana, where his parents farmed and sold charcoal, and he grew up in a household without running water or electricity.
He attended the Opoku Ware School in Kumasi, Ghana, funded by a scholarship from the Ghana Cocoa Board. Subsequently, he proceeded to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a degree in biology in 2005. He returned to the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 for a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership.
In 2017, Frimpong founded Cocoa360, a nonprofit in rural Ghana where villagers work on communal cocoa farms in exchange for free tuition at an all-girls school and subsidized healthcare.
Frimpong has won several awards, including the Queen’s Young Leader Award and the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.
LinkedIn: Shadrack Osei Frimpong
- Sheena Allen
Sheena Allen is an entrepreneur, media enthusiast, and the founder of CapWay, a neobank that covers financial education and families microlending for those who do not fit into the traditional banking system.
Sheena was born in Terry, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Southern Mississippi, where she received a dual degree in Psychology (BS) and Film (BA).
In late 2016, Sheena premiered She Started It, a documentary film that follows five women on their startup journey. She became a published author in early 2017, when she released her book, The Starting Guide, a three-part book that talks about her journey, a guide for those interested in app development but unsure where to start, and business 101 tips. She is also the brain behind App It Out, an interactive workbook, curriculum, and virtual sessions around simplifying app ideas and app development.
In recognition of her work, she has featured in publications such as Black Enterprise and Ebony Magazine.