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News 22 Jan 18

Young Balkan Stars Join Forbes' Under-30 List

Several young politicians, entrepreneurs and activists from the Balkans have made it to Forbes' latest '30 under 30' list – which contains 600 stars in 20 industries.

Mladen Lakic
Forbes List Photo: http://portugalstartups.com

Every year, Forbes identifies 30 of the brightest and most promising game-changers under the age of 30 in 20 different industries and the newest list of 600 people, published on Monday, contains nine names of youthful visionaries from the Balkans.

Rita Ora

Singer: Rita Ora started out performing in the UK at her father's London pub after her refugee family emigrated from Kosovo. The singer has kept busy since her first album, designing collections for Adidas, hosting the TV show America's Next Top Model, debuting a new lipstick line with cosmetics-maker Rimmel London and partnering with Absolut Vodka in a project that will allow her to collaborate with fans for a new song.

Florin Badita

Founder, Corruption Kills: Following the Colectiv tragedy in which 64 people died in a nightclub fire in the Romanian capital, Badita founded Corruption Kills, a movement designed to rally people against moves to decriminalize corruption convictions in which the damages were less than 45,000 euros. He has also helped investigative journalists uncover public embezzlement in Romania.

Lena Borislavova

Attorney, Georgiev, Todorov & Co: Bulgarian lawyer Lena Borislavova specializes in mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions and negotiations, and international financial law. She also supports foreign investment in Bulgaria.

Jasminko Halilovic

Founder, War Childhood Museum: Halilovic, a leading conflict researcher, founded the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which has documented over 4,000 articles, interviews and artifacts exploring the experience of growing up in wartime Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has authored several books, including War Childhood: Sarajevo 1992-1995.

Open Data Kosovo

Directors, Open Data Kosovo: Blinera Meta Shala, Dafina Olluri, Blerta Thaci, directors of Open Data Kosovo, ODK, are bringing more transparency and accountability to Kosovo through technology. The leadership team works to improve Kosovo through increasing civic engagement through technology, opening government data, and engaging in digital humanitarianism. 

Mihaela Spataru

Member of parliament in Moldova: Spataru is the only woman on the Moldovan parliament's committee for National Security, Defence, and Internal Affairs, where she focuses on cybersecurity and informational space security issues. She is a member of the parliamentary working group on changing the constitution to include European Integration in the constitution's text.

Nina Angelovska

Cofounder, Grouper.mk: In 2011, then 21-year-old Angelovska won a national competition in Macedonia for her business plan and launched Grouper.mk, Macedonia's first group deal buying platform. At the time, only 1 per cent of Macedonians shopped online. Grouper.mk now has more than 2,500 merchant partners and 170,000 registered users.

Iva Tsolova

Cofounder, JAMBA - Career For All: Bulgarian Tsolova has designed an online platform that educates people with disabilities and develops key competencies for future employment. The company partners with businesses to make them more open to work with individuals with disabilities.

Zarko Dimitrioski

Cofounder, Eden na Eden: Dimitrioski, a former TV host in Macedonia, and his brother, founded marketing agency Eden na Eden in 2012. Since then, they have grown the company to a staff of 25, and it has become one of the few full-service marketing agencies in Macedonia, counting some of the country's biggest brands such as Alkaloid and Golden Art among its clients. Recently, Dimitrioski won the national Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Macedonian Enterprise Development Foundation.

The full list is available here.

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