International business, in and of itself, is a unique niche. It’s not something that most people think about every day, and they may not even understand how global trade impacts our daily lives. Similarly, of the best and brightest minds in the global economy, very few are household names that the average person will recognize. Yet, these individuals play a pivotal role in the rapidly expanding global economy.
What’s interesting is that, of key players in international business, many of them are under 50 years of age. Here’s a look at some of the most influential global business leaders that fall into that category, many of whom you may be unfamiliar with:
- Sara Blakely—When she was 29 years old, Blakely founded Spanx, a company that makes undergarments for men and women to give them a more shapely and slim appearance. Now at 45 years old, Blakely has a net worth of $1 billion and is ranked No. 90 on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
- Daniel Elk—The 33-year-old Swedish creator of the popular music-streaming service Spotify has 75 million active users on a monthly basis, across 59 countries, Forbes wrote. Through the sale of ads and user subscriptions, Elk has an estimated personal net worth of $300 million, while Spotify is valued at $2 billion.
- Brian Chesky—The sharing economy is one that has been on a rapid upswing for several years. Cashing in on this astronomical growth, 34 year old Chesky founded Airbnb, a service that allows those with a house or apartment to rent rooms to guests; usually travelers. Since its creation in 2008, more than 60 million people, in 190 countries and 34,000 cities worldwide, have used the service. The San Francisco native has driven Airbnb to a $25 billion valuation, while his own net worth sits at $3.3 billion.
- Bom Kim—The growth of e-commerce has made a number of people very wealthy. Kim, a 37-year-old native of South Korea, created Coupang, the country’s version of online retailer, Amazon. Since Amazon doesn’t do business in the country, Kim decided to fill that e-commerce void. Today, Coupang is worth $5 billion while Kim’s net worth sits at $950 million.
- Travis Kalanick—Many of us have used Uber, but are probably unfamiliar with its 39-year-old CEO and founder. Since the company was founded seven years ago, Kalnick has introduced the ride-sharing company in 405 cities and 59 countries worldwide. At present, Uber is valued at $62 billion, while Kalanick’s net worth is 10 percent of that or $6.2 billion, according to Forbes.