The world has countless problems, unless you’re an entrepreneur, in which case the world has countless opportunities.
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Top 30 International Entrepreneurs You Should Know
Entrepreneurs are not just a Silicon Valley phenomenon. They are a global force to be reckoned with.
These towers of power don’t merely have scholarly strength. The international entrepreneur keeps learning and iterating on their projects. They also have to have the physical fortitude to push forward despite anything their life and business throws at them.
The entrepreneur has to rally themselves and everyone around them — over and over and over again. These entrepreneurs from countries all over the world create and collaborate on some of the most disruptive technology.
Interact with international entrepreneurs brings a varied perspective that can help your own business strategy. This diversified listing can also provide additional contacts and resources to keep you going and growing.
Here are 30 international entrepreneurs you should get to know and connect with:
1. Alon Braun
Alon Braun started his career as a programmer in the Israeli defense forces. During this time, he built his first startup, Webstare, which was founded by Apple Israel.
After his service, Braun joined the Hebrew University faculty of earth sciences where he received his master’s degree in oceanography. From there, he specialized in plant molecular biology, marine microscopy, and paleontology.
Alon split his time between Being CEO of performance marketing network TalkingAds and CEO in Pathwwway Which is a full management customer retention agency for online businesses. Besides his passion for science and technology, his hobbies include businesses growth strategies and agile methodologies development.
2. Phav Daroath
Phav Daroath is a young entrepreneur from Cambodia who is the Executive Director of WaterSHED, a development project in Asia that develops solutions for clean water and sanitation. Daroath has worked with a wide range of market development activities across Cambodia after transitioning from a career in accounting and auditing.
Daroath’s goal is to provide innovative solutions and business development opportunities within Cambodia and throughout Asia.
3. Alisee de Tonnac
Alisee de Tonnac is from France but has spent her life in other countries, including Singapore, California, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, Cambodia and Nigeria.
She is the co-founder of Seedstars, which provides a competition to find the next big ideas among entrepreneurs. The competition is now in over 60 cities and will have 15 strategic hubs with co-working spaces and academies around the world.
De Tonnac received her master’s degree in international management at the Bocconi University in Italy. Her many accolades include winning the Harvard Model Congress, Europe Award of Excellence. Previously, she worked as a product manager for L’Oreal Groupand Voyage Prive.
4. Murray Newlands
Murray Newlands began his career as a solicitor in England but soon determined he had other entrepreneurial aspirations. His foray into building businesses began with a marketing agency and quickly led to online and technology businesses.
Over the last decade, Newlands has started, grown and sold many businesses. Currently, Murray operates Sighted, an online invoicing company, and ChattyPeople, a chatbot startup. In his spare time, he is a public speaker, thought leader, author, online and social media video personality, investor and mentor.
5. Alexander Naydenov
Alexander Naydenov is a Bulgarian entrepreneur who now calls Germany his home. He is co-founder of PaperHive, an online co-working hub that is a resource for scholars. This resource is a place to collaborate, share, and annotate online texts.
Naydenov is also co-founder and chairman of Where Ideas Find Their Home, a social entrepreneurship incubator. His business has helped numerous non-profits and furthered many social initiatives. Naydenov has a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in business and computer science. Alexander also started IdeaHub, a German startup weekend series.
6. Enrique Gomez-Junco
Enrique Gomez-Junco is a Mexican entrepreneur focused on energy efficiency and is the founder and CEO of Optima Energia. Optima Energia has helped many throughout Mexico to reduce their energy consumption and help minimize their environmental footprint.
Previously, Gomez-Junco worked for companies throughout Mexico. He applied his degree in chemical engineering before seeking out his entrepreneurial path focused on socially conscious initiatives.
7. Ishita Anand
Ishita Anand is an entrepreneur from India who is the founder and CEO of BitGiving. Anand’s company was the first online social crowdfunding platform in India. The platform has partnered with all types of charities to raise money for those in need from India and Nepal. Anand’s work has benefited everything from sporting events to aid after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Prior to starting this company, Anand worked as a freelance filmmaker in India as well as was an intern for Ogilvy + Mather. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Delhi University.
8. Michael Serbinis
Michael Serbinis is a Canadian entrepreneur and founder and CEO of League. This company is revolutionizing employee benefits and health insurance.
With over $1 billion in exits, he has built numerous companies, including Kobo, Critical Path, DocSpace, and Zip2. He is also a member of the Vector Institute’s Board of Directors and an investor in new technology companies through his company Three Angels Capital.
Serbinis has always been an innovator, designing a high-temperature superconductor propulsion system. His system won Gold at the Intel International Science Fair as well as awards and sponsorships from NASA, Rockwell Aerospace, and Intel.
9. Allen Lau
Allen Lau is a Canadian entrepreneur who is founder and CEO WattPad. He has experienced failure and success as an entrepreneur. These situations have taught him about business and life. Along with leading WattPad, Lau does angel investing with his wife through Two Small Fish Ventures. He loves gadgets and innovation.
10. Bonnie Chiu
Bonnie Chiu is a young entrepreneur who is originally from Hong Kong but who now resides in the UK. Chiu is the founder of Lensational, which provides marginalized women in 15 countries with training, technology, and a camera to photograph the items they make. These photos provide the means for these women to showcase and sell what they produce. Chiu is also Managing Director of The Social Investment Consultancy, which has clients that range from non-profits to large global brands.
11. Marco Eshkenazi
Marco Eshkenazi is a serial entrepreneur from Mexico who has started more than 15 companies. His most recent venture Frogtech is a for-profit social startup that helps small retailers across Latin America. Eshkenazi teaches these retailers to compete and be successful through its POS software solution.
Eshkenazi also works with other entrepreneurs to help them launch their startups throughout Mexico and Latin America.
12. Trisha Shetty
Trisha Shetty is an Indian activist, lawyer and entrepreneur who founded the non-profit SheSays. This company is helping to empower women against sexual violence that so many women suffer in India.
Shetty works with universities and other social organizations to increase awareness of this violence. Her efforts have helped get more women engaged in the idea of fighting abuse.
13. Ronaldo Mouchawar
Ronaldo Mouchawar is an entrepreneur from Syria who is the co-founder and CEO of Souq. His company is the largest ecommerce site in the Arab world and known as the “Amazon of the Middle East.”
Mouchawar has built the company over the last ten years, receiving numerous rounds of funding and growing it to over 2,000 employees. He also works with other entrepreneurs to help them build out their businesses throughout the Middle East and the world.
14. Alice Brennan
Alice Brennan is a young entrepreneur from Australia and co-founder of SettleIn. This app helps refugees get settled into their new life in Australia.
Brennan’s background as a humanitarian professional gave her the idea. Her compassion gave her the drive to create this innovative solution. She provides ways so more people can gain control over their lives and adjust to a new life.
15. Khalid Al Khudair
Khalid Al Khudair is an Iraqi entrepreneur and founder of Glowork. This company is committed to helping women find jobs in what has been a restrictive environment. Khudair was previously COO for KPMG in Jordan and Kuwait. Khudair now serves as an advisor to Saudi’s Labor Minister.
16. Rossi Mitova
Rossi Mitova is an entrepreneur from Bulgaria. She is founder and CEO of FarmHopping, an online farmer’s market as well as co-founder of StartupTarot.com. Mitova has been named as one of the top 100 European entrepreneurs and continues to seek other opportunities to create new businesses.
17. Tom Williams
Tom Williams is founder of WeTeach, an online platform what connects teachers with Chinese primary school students. This Australian entrepreneur attended school in China and later moved there.
Williams wanted to work on innovative platforms like WeTeach and donates some of the proceeds to charities that support Chinese rural education. He is also a partner at Parallax Consulting Group, which links translators with Chinese publishing houses to translate Chinese literature.
18. Loulou Khazen Baz
Loulou Khazen Baz is an entrepreneur from Lebanon. Baz founded Nabbesh, a company that connects businesses with freelancers across 130 countries. She raised considerable funds to continue developing her business.
Baz reflects the changes in the Middle East where more female entrepreneurs are establishing a powerful presence there.
19. Tom Webster
Tom Webster is co-founder of GrowUp Urban Farms. An entrepreneur from the U.K., he and co-founders wanted to create a way to make farm-fresh, healthy food options available to everyone.
Webster and his co-founders created an aquaponic system so that people in urban settings can grow fresh produce and fish – anytime, anywhere. He continues to seek out other ways to solve these types of social issues for those in the U.K. and across the world.
20. Nat Ware
Nat Ware is a young Australian entrepreneur who is Founder and CEO of 180 DegreesConsulting. This company specializes in assisting nonprofits and social enterprises everywhere with affordable consulting services.
Ware’s consulting group also provides resources that can help other companies grow and succeed.
His idea was to tap into university student talent to provide the consulting. By using this student talent, he has provided a way to keep the consulting fees low.
Ware’s company is giving university students the type of experience they need to enter the job market. This firm provides consulting while providing this talent with relevant skills and knowledge.
21. Gaston Parisier
Gaston Parisier is an entrepreneur from Argentina who founded BigBox to provide users a way to find the perfect gift for their recipients. Parisier has put together a portfolio of experiences from which you can choose.
The experiences vary from skydiving to dinning to a day at the spa. These gifts are unique and feel personalized. Parisier has been involved in other business development opportunities throughout Latin America. He continues to focus on encouraging other entrepreneurs to create local and global products and services.
22. Paul Kenny
Paul Kenny is an Irish entrepreneur who works primarily in the Middle East, including Dubai. As a tech-focused entrepreneur, he founded Cobone. This eCommerce site, similar to Groupon in other places, has been successful in the Middle East and North Africa.
Kenny’s company launched in 2010 and was sold to Tiger Global Management for $40 million in 2013. The capital gave Kenny room to dust off his other ambitions. He now works with Emerge Venture, helping to mentor and advise companies all over the world.
23. Mauricio Osorio
Mauricio Osorio is an entrepreneur from Colombia who founded Crezcamos, a lending institution. Osorio wanted to help the Colombian population. He is able to gain more access to financial services.
Very few farmers can tap into any type of formal lending programs and Osorio includes financial help in those in rural areas. This micro-finance institution has provided opportunities that are stimulating local merchants, increasing economic vitality in the country and empower more small business owners.
24. Saygin Yalcin
Saygin Yalcin is a German entrepreneur who works primarily in Dubai where he started Sukar.com. Sukar is a flash sales site, which was sold to Souq. Since then, Yalcin started SellAnyCar.com, which has grown to encompass Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey and Germany.
Yalcin plans to involve raising additional funding to expand the business throughout Europe to expand the technology platform for selling used cars.
25. Davide D’Atri
Davide D’Atri is an Italian entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Soundreef, which helps and distributes music royalties for publishers and artists. He has been intent on breaking up the existing royalty monopoly in place in Europe.
D’Atri has been able to use technology to disrupt the royalties industry. The company has expanded to encompass royalties from all over the world.
26. Hind Hobeika
Hind Hobeika is a female entrepreneur from Lebanon who founded Instabeat. She developed her company after being a professional swimmer. While training and competing as a swimmer, Hobeika noted a gap in the market for products that served these professional swimmers.
Hobeika recieved third place in Qatar’s Stars of Science Competition and first prize at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Pan Arab Business Plan Competition. Using funds she raised from crowdfunding and traditional investment sources, Hobeika is working to bring these products to market.
27. Toshiki Abe
Toshiki Abe is a young Japanese entrepreneur who founded Ridilover. This is a young travel company that arranges tours to social sites and political events.
These events include the Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. While Abe started Ridilover in a student group, it has quickly grown to encompass all types of tours. This type of tourism reflects the growing interest in current social issues and activism.
28. Michael Lahyani
Michael Lahyani is a Swiss entrepreneur and founder of PropertyFinder.ae. This company has grown from its inception in 2007 to one million visitors per month. PropertyFinder.aehas become a presence in Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
Lahyani continues to expand into other countries to fill a need for a platform that offers a better way to search, visit, and purchase all types of properties.
29. Anisa Haghdadi
Anisa Haghdadi is a young female entrepreneur from the UK as well as a speaker and arts scholar. She founded Beatfreeks, which is a youth engagement agency that helps major brands connect with young members.
Haghdadi gains a target audiences through involvement in socially focused projects. She is also focused on assisting minority youth in the UK find jobs.
Haghdadi’s goal is obtained by employing these young members for certain campaigns and events that are better developed with these brands.
30. Jehwan Park
Jehwan Park is an entrepreneur from South Korea who is also the founder of Lumir, a company that makes lamps for developing countries. Park funded his idea through Kickstarter and came up with an light emitting plasma (LEP) lamp. Lumir is run by used cooking oil and kerosene.
Park helps people in countries like India and Indonesia enjoy light. Despite serious energy shortages there is still the need to curb carbon emissions. Park is able to supply light with a source of oil and kerosene that is usually wasted.
These international entrepreneurs share a passion and vision for solving many of the world’s social ills. By leveraging technology and innovation they drive change across numerous industries.
Many of these international entrepreneurs also prove that countries do not need borders. They opt to work in different areas of the world from their own.
These companies collaborate with businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors from all over the globe.
As this list of incredible minds illustrates, international entrepreneurs are not limited by gender, age, background, location or preconceived notions.