Six Irish people included on Forbes 30 under 30 list

Prestigious list honours 300 young people seen as transforming a wide range of sectors

Jacksepticeye: Seán McLoughlin

Jacksepticeye: Seán McLoughlin


Six Irish people have been included in Forbes’ prestigious “30 under 30” list of Europe’s leading young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

The Forbes list, which is published annually, includes young people who are seen as transforming business, technology, finance, media, healthcare, science, policy, social entrepreneurship, retail and the arts and entertainment.

The list totals 300 people from 32 European countries. The average age of the group is 27, while almost two thirds are the founders or co-founders of their own business or movement. Between them, they have raised in excess of $500 million in funding.

The list includes several well-known names including climate change activist Greta Thunberg (17), chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen (29), tennis player Simona Halep (28), and diver Tom Daley (25).

The list totals 300 people from 32 European countries, including climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
The list totals 300 people from 32 European countries, including climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

The number of Irish people on the list is down from eight in 2019. Lorcan O Cathain, Robert James Gabriel and Deborah Somorin appear in the social entrepreneurs category, while Conor and Ronan Burke are included in the technology category. The sixth Irish person is Sean McLoughlin who appears in sports and games.

Mr O Cathain (27) is chief operating officer of 4G Capital. The company helps small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa that are unable to secure financing from traditional banks. It sends credit in the form of mobile money directly to customers’ phones.

To date, the company has disbursed over $90 million in loans to 100,000 micro, small and medium enterprises. As COO, Mr O Cathain coordinates 4G’s 600-person team across Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.

Mr Gabriel (26) is the founder of Helperbird, which is a tool for people with dyslexia. He set up the company after years of struggling in school with the condition before being diagnosed at the age of 16.

After obtaining a degree in computer science, he built a browser extension that customizes text to make it easier for individuals with dyslexia. The company says it supports 150,000 daily users from more than 28 countries.

Ms Somorin (26) is the founder of Empower the Family, which is an approved housing body that provides accommodations and childcare to people in Ireland who might not otherwise be able to attend university.

Growing up, Ms Somorin faced homelessness, teenage pregnancy and the loss of her mother to suicide so she set up the organisation to help disadvantaged students succeed.

Conor (26) and Ronan Burke (25) co-founded Inscribe, which is an automated document fraud detection system that allows businesses to instantly verify their customers when they request proof of income, proof of address, or proof of expense information.

The Dublin-based brothers founded the company after graduating from university in June 2017.

Finally, Mr McLoughlin (30) is described by Forbes as “Ireland’s most popular YouTuber”, playing a variety of games under the name “Jacksepticeye”.

Forbes estimates he made $11 million last year, making him the eighth highest-paid gamer. Late in 2018, he started a clothing brand with fellow YouTube gamer, Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach.