Forbes Middle East recently released it’s sixth annual 30 Under 30 list, spotlighting exceptional young talents across various industries in the region. This year’s roster showcases 145 individuals from 22 different nationalities, with Egyptians leading the list, comprising 44 outstanding achievers. These trailblazers represent diverse sectors, including science and technology, entertainment, commerce, finance, and social impact.
Egypt is also hosting the second edition of Forbes Middle East Under 30 Summit in el-Gouna in January 2024. The event is set togather the region’s under 30 community, investors, and business leaders.
From the realms of EdTech to graphic design, here is the list of the pioneering Egyptians making waves and changing tides across industries in 2023.
HANA GODA | 15
At just 15 years old, the youngest listee is table tennis champion Hana Goda. Goda started her table tennis journey at the ripe age of four, and in 2022 — at age 14 — she became the youngest winner of a Continental Cup title by winning the women’s singles championship at the ITTF-Africa Cup.
In September 2023, Goda won the women’s singles at the 2023 ITTF African Championships and qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. She was ranked second in the International Table Tennis Federation’s U-17 Girls’ Singles and 31st in the Women’s Singles as of October 2023.
WEGZ | 24
Egyptian Sensation and rapper Ahmed Ali, popularly known as Wegz, garnered accolades as Spotify’s most-streamed Arab artist in MENA and Egypt’s most-streamed artist for the third year in a row. His career started in 2017 and has since then performed regionally and internationally, including one of the world’s most iconic venues such as London’s Apollo Theater, NYC’s Terminal 5, and the closing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
SARA SAMIR | 24
Samir is the first Arab woman to win an Olympic weightlifting medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In 2022 and 2023, she won the Women’s 76kg category gold medal at the IWF World Championship. She won her third continental senior title at the 2023 African Championships in May 2023. Samir is currently ranked third in the 2023 Annual World Ranking of the IWF for Seniors in the 81kg category.
AHMED EMAD EL-DIN | 26
Visionary artist behind Pink Floyd’s “The Endless River” album cover . He created and designed more than 50 official art and film posters, alongside visuals for commercial campaigns, book covers, and album art. His work has been featured in worldwide exhibits, including, Doges Palace, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
MAYAR SHERIF | 26
In June 2023, tennis champion Sherif was ranked 31st in the women’s singles world rankings — the highest rank achieved by an Egyptian tennis player since 1975. Sherif was the first Egyptian woman to play in a Grand Slam tournament and the first to win the Hologic WTA Tour title. In 2023, she won her sixth WTA 125 title of her career.
BASSANT HEMIDA | 26
The Sprinting sensation has earned a gold medal in the women’s 200-meter race at the Netherlands’ Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in 2023 — achieving a new national record of 22.41 seconds. In 2022, she was the first-ever Egyptian athlete to win gold in the 100-meter sprint at the Mediterranean Games. Hemida was also appointed ambassador for the UN global initiative Generation Unlimited in Egypt, Shabab Balad.
MAGDI MOUSSA; MOHAMED EL-ABIAD | 27; 29
In 2017, former college peers Moussa and El-Abiad launched ‘IMMRSV’ — an innovation studio in Edtech and Fintech. IMMRSV leads initiatives for brands such as Udacity, Meta, UNDP, the African Union, Misk Academy, ITIDA, and the Saudi Central Bank.
ABDELRAZEK ALY; RAMY ABDULZAHER | 29; 29
Founders Aly and Abdulzaher established ‘Boncole’, the first-ever braille entertainment platform. Bonocle has a portable uni-cell braille device that allows blind individuals to interpret the contents of any electronic device through braille — empowering blind individuals to play games with their friends and family, both in-person and online, and study and read books.
ABDULLAH AL-ATRASH | 23
In 2020, al-Atrash launched ‘Natrify,’ a company dedicated to helping businesses that rely on plastic reduce their adverse environmental footprint. Natrify offers naturally biodegradable products based on microorganisms.
AHMED SAMIR EAD | 29
Since launching his YouTube channel ‘Egychology’ in 2014, Ead has been an active contributor to the popularization of science and educational content. Ead also collaborated with the former podcast platform Kerning Cultures to launch their Superbly Scientific podcast in 2021, which shortly claimed the number-one spot on Apple. Ead is also an assistant lecturer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada.
ALAA AFIFI | 29
In 2017, Afifi launched ‘Bekia’, an Egyptian start-up that works in the waste management field to allow users to exchange their inorganic waste—such as cans, plastics, food, oil, and metal—for cash over a mobile wallet or bank account. Bekia has recycled over 10,000 tons of waste and collected more than 10 million plastic bottles.
OMAR EMARA | 26
Emara is the co-founder and COO of ‘FreshSource’, which helps reduce food loss by managing the sourcing, distribution, and delivery of fresh produce. FreshSource offers data analytics to help producers adjust their production plans and has also partnered with the Central Bank of Egypt to pioneer agriculture loans for producers.
YOMNA GAAFAR | 27
Gaafar is an Economic Analyst of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund. She assists governments in advancing economies and fostering well-being among marginalized communities.
Prior to her current role, she served as a senior sustainability executive position at the MBC Group, overseeing a project dedicated to eradicating hunger and ensuring food security for vulnerable children. During this time, she collaborated with the UN World Food Programme to launch the “Feed their Dreams” campaign.
ALY MOHAMED | 29
In 2021, Mohamed established ‘Seavo’, his marine micro-mobility venture, which focuses on developing electric watercraft and marine drones as eco-friendly alternatives to conventional fuel-powered options. Seavo boasts a diverse product line, featuring ten innovations, including the Orca Electric Watercraft. Seavo has formed a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), leveraging their expertise to deploy the Orca and Seawatch systems across various applications.
HADEER SHALABY | 29
Shalaby is the co-founder and CEO of ‘Freeziana’, which operates as an online marketplace facilitating the buying and selling of handmade, vintage, and custom items for both individuals and businesses; empowering women through training programs and creative industry ventures The platform has conducted training programs for over 200,000 women through collaborations with 30 international and governmental agencies and 150 local partners, such as CARE Egypt, UN Women, UNDP, and Oxfam.
Shalaby also established several subsidiaries, including Green Fashion, which has upcycled 600 tons of waste from textile factories and 83,700 items of clothing, and Crafty Workshop, a platform for teaching creative industries remotely.
MUSTAFA ABDEL LATIF| 29
Egyptian-born and United Arab Emirates-based, Abdel Latif established ‘EYouth’, a leading ed-tech platform that empowers youth through interactive career development programs. The platform cultivated a community of over 1.6 million learners, with its graduates achieving success in securing over 350,000 jobs. The organization operates from its three primary offices located in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
MOHAMED EZZ | 29
Ezz is the co-founder of ‘Lemon Spaces’, which renovates spaces in buildings and interiors. The company operates 80 spaces and has also signed partnerships with real estate developers, adding 460 units to its network in 2024.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ABDULLAH KAMEL | 29
Co-founder and co-CEO, Kamel founded ‘adami.ai’ in 2017 as a management platform that allows capturing, managing, and sharing meeting content, transforming content into valuable assets, and driving successful business outcomes. Today, it works with over 16,000 teams across the world, including the United States, Canada, and the Middle East.
AHMED ADEL | 29
Established in 2018, Adel’s company ‘CardoO’ specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) consumer electronics. Since its inception, it has sold over 200,000 units and plans on expanding to Saudi Arabia’s markets in Q2 2024.
DAHLIA HASSAN | 25
As a Researcher and innovation coordinator, Hassan is the founder of ‘Bloom’, an innovative design for a 3D-printed prosthetic limb for upper leg amputees in impoverished and war-affected countries, which is manufactured using recycled bottle caps. Hassan also won MIT Technology Review Arabia’s Innovators Under 35 MENA 2022 award.
She also runs the innovation capacity-building programs across the Middle East and Southern Eastern Africa with the Siemens Healthineers Innovation Think Tank. In addition, Hassan created ‘Little Innovators,’ an innovation infrastructure at the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357 that works to enable children to generate creative healthcare solutions, which they then help turn into startups.
GALAL EL-BESHBISHY | 28
Galal is the co-founder and COO of ‘Synapse Analytics’, which helps businesses embed AI and machine learning into their operations, and allows financial institutions to manage their credit risk decisions. Synapse Analytics has over 50 clients, including P&G and Unilever, and has raised USD 2 million (EG 61 million) in funding.
MOHAMED KHALED; MOHAMED EL-SARRAG | 29; 29
Co-founders Khaled and ElSarrag launched ‘Hotdesk’ in 2021 as an on-demand workspace booking platform that allows users to find desks, meeting rooms, and offices, enabling companies to generate money from their empty office space.
Hotdesk has enabled over 350,000 people to work from coworking spaces for over 2.5 million hours through a network of more than 1,700 offices in over 45 countries and more than 200 cities. In 2023, Hotdesk acquired the Barcelona-based co-working app YADO.
OMAR EL-DESSOUKY; MOHAMED EL-KHATIEB | 22; 23
In 2021, El-dDssouky and El Khatieb cofounded the proptech startup ‘Seqoon’, a property co-ownership digital platform, that enables fractional ownership of vacation homes. It launched in Egypt’s el-Gouna and the North Coast.
SHAHEER BARDISSI | 29
Bardissi is the co-founder of MiGenTra GmbH, a biotech company developing new biological therapies and gene therapies to ensure affordable access to essential medicines in Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa.
COMMERCE AND FINANCE
ABANOB GAMAL; FADY IBRAHIM | 28; 27
Through their agri-tech venture ‘Cropsa’, founders Gamal and Ibrahim connect suppliers with traders and farms. Corpsa has facilitated the process of buying and selling wholesale agricultural raw materials and animal farm inputs for 150,000 farmers.
AHMED ABDEEN | 29
In 2019, Abdeen co-founded ‘El-Gameya’ to digitize money circles, or rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCA), commonly known as Gameya in Arab countries. It currently has more than 250,000 users, and offers a school tuition fee model, partnering with over 90 schools as well.
AMR KAWASHTY; EZZ TAREK | 27; 28
Kawashty and Tarek are the founders of ‘In Your Shoe’, a direct-to-consumer fashion brand that has over 75 product lines and seven stores across Egypt. In Your Shoe has over 90,000 customers and has sold nearly 40,000 pieces in 20 countries. It has more than 52 clients, including Starbucks, Amazon, Dell, Redbull, Coca-Cola, Vodafone, and Orange.
JUDE BENHALIM | 29
Benhalim is the co-founder and creative director of ‘Jude Benhalim’, a handcrafted fashion jewelry brand. Benhalim established her brand in 2011 with her mother, when she was 17 years old. The brand currently has three stores in Egypt, and was worn by international celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, Vanessa Hudgens, Chrissy Teigen, and Adriana Lima.
MOHAMED EHAB; OMAR REZK; MENNA ZAGHLOUL | 27; 27; 29
Ehab, Rezk, and Zaghloul co-founded ‘Entlaq’ fostering startup ecosystems and consultancy services for businesses..In January 2023, it launched its programs to focus on early-stage to pre-seed startups with two annual cohorts.
Entlaq has also launched initiatives to support the Egyptian startup ecosystem through partnerships with the World Youth Forum, the UNDP, the International Labour Organization, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The firm also provides consultancy services to companies, including Egypt’s Rabbit, Saudi’s Rasmal, and India’s Ninjacart, among others.
SAEED TALAAT; YOUSSEF GALAL; HASHIM IBRAHIM; WALID ABOU EL-NOUR | 28; 27; 27; 25
The co-founders Talaat, Galal, Ibrahim, and El-Nour founded ‘Klickit’, a fintech company specializing in the education industry. Klickit offers a fee management system for educational institutions. It currently works in six countries, assisting over 55,000 public schools and 400 private and international schools, serving over 25 million students in Egypt.
HAZEM EL-TAWAB; IBRAHIM EL-ZAYAT | 27; 28
Tawab and El-Zayat founded their company ‘ReNile’ to provide end-to-end solutions for smart farming using IoT technology for water, air, and soil quality management. It has over 200 clients in the MENA region across various sectors such as agriculture, including aquaponics, hydroponics, poultry systems, fish farming, greenhouses, and traditional farming in Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
MAHMOUD MOUSSA | 29
‘Hollydesk’ is an expense management platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Its founder, Moussa, also founded a formula racing team that has designed, built, and competed at various events at Silverstone, United Kingdom.