Cape Town - Five South Africans have made it onto the Forbes Africa 30 under 30s list of most promising entrepreneurs, with Forbes calling them the billionaires of tomorrow.
The youngest of the five is Nadav Ossendryver (19), CEO and founder of Latest Sightings, an online, real-time, wildlife spotting service for visitors to the Kruger National Park.
According to his Who’s Who profile, Ossendryver, nicknamed Google McDuff, was only 15 when he turned to technology to feed his curiosity for wildlife spottings and established Latest Sightings.
His website uses the concept of crowd sourcing - combining social media such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and BBM groups - and a website and iPhone, Windows and Android app to inform Kruger visitors and enthusiasts worldwide where interesting animals and birds have just been spotted.
The Kruger Sightings YouTube Channel is the most watched South African based channel with over 315 million views, Ossendryver told Fin24 on Sunday.
The inclusion on the list of Siya Beyile, creative and fashion director and founder of The Threaded Man, can be seen as just another feather in the cap the 22-year-old trend forecaster and analyst for men’s fashion.
He was recently chosen as the new face of the American Swiss campaign which launches nationwide on May 31 and named Fashion Director for the South African Music Awards. This means that he will style the performers and hosts among others for the June 4 event in Durban.
Another designer on the list is Inga Gubeka (28), founder and CEO of Cape-Town based design studio Indalo Décor that morphed from interior design to specialist makers of lifestyle wooden accessories.
From his studio in Paarden Eiland, Gubeka designs and makes unique products from wood, leather and canvass, including backpacks, bags, clocks and lamps. He also creates wooden accessories for cellphones and tablets.
Social entrepreneur Emmanuel Bonoko made the list for his passion for youth empowerment and serving others through education.
He founded the EBonoko Foundation and in one of the first projects the foundation collected and distributed over 12 000 books across South Africa. This book drive gave birth to youth mentorships, bursary campaigns and youth seminars, according to the foundations website.
Last but not least on the list is Mogau Seshoene, who started The Lazy Makoti (the lazy bride) to teach women cook traditional South African food.
She told Fin24’s sister publication Finweek in September last year her business came to life when she started getting requests to teach young brides-to-be how to cook traditional meals.
She took the gap and now employs three people that help with cooking classes and administration. In addition to this, the business has created employment opportunities for five other women entrepreneurs in Mamelodi, Pretoria to make handmade Lazy Makoti kitchen accessories such as chopping boards and aprons.
The five South Africans, along with 25 other young entrepreneurs across the continent, were chosen from a list of 250 potential under 30s.
Forbes Africa said its team worked for weeks verifying and investigating the list and favoured entrepreneurs with fresh ideas. It also took into account their business size, location, potential, struggles and determination.
Also on the list are Nkosana Mazibisa (Zimbabwe), Momarr Mass Taal (Gambia), Hanta Tiana Ranaivo Rajaonarisoa (Madagascar), Vital Sounouvou (Benin), Kelvin Doe (Sierra Leone), William Elong (Cameroon), Fatoumata BA (Senegal), Uneku Atawodi and Obinwanne Okeke (Nigeria) and Barclay Okari and Joel Macharia (kenya).
“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,” said Forbes Africa’s list editor Ancillar Mangena.