10 Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021

Venturing into business is a varied journey, and it is gaining more recognition with each passing year. However, there is no fixed path to success, which means it’s easy to lose direction. Those who manage to navigate this path through hard work, determination, and resilience are truly inspiring business leaders.

According to Two Comma PR, the business leaders who stand out are the ones who are resourceful, inventive, and determined to succeed – regardless of external circumstances. Here are ten noteworthy business leaders from different stages of their entrepreneurial journey across various industries who are worth paying attention to in 2021 and beyond.

1. Taylor Jones

The success story of Taylor Jones begins as an artist, touring with Disney for three years in Europe. A conflict with a former manager derailed his pop-star career, but that didn’t dampen his passion for the industry. Through his experiences, he defined the kind of professional he didn’t want to become and focused on providing top-notch representation for his clients. He has managed winners of Junior Eurovision, The Voice Kids, and Pop Idol, guiding and shaping their careers in entertainment and music throughout his career.

Today, he is a prize-winning music/digital executive and the founder of The Hello Group, an LA-based entertainment company he runs alongside his brother Kyran Jones and former Warner Music and Virgin Records executive, Phil Quartararo.

Aside from his other endeavors, Taylor is also a leading A&R executive who is credited with influencing the rise of K-Pop in current US pop culture. Over the past 18 months, his roster of writers and producers has been behind 20+ gold, platinum, and triple-platinum hit singles/albums for artists and 18 Billboard #1 chart successes, including the globally renowned band BTS, as well as other international acts such as NCT 127, SuperM, ITZY, WayV, EXO’s KAI, THE9, Victon, and many more. In 2021, Taylor and his company will expand into TV and film production by launching a new studio division at The Hello Group that will produce non-fiction and scripted shows for YA and the family audience.

10 Promising Business Leaders to Keep an Eye on in 2021

2. Nick Molnar

Nick Molnar, the youngest female unicorn, co-founded the buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay, which is now one of Australia’s largest industries and has recently entered the more lucrative US market.

The digital lay-buy transaction model had a monumental year in 2020. In September, its customer base reached 11 million people globally, 60% of which are in the US. By the end of the financial year, June 30, 2020, Afterpay’s sales more than doubled to $11.1 billion. In Australia, it holds a 73% market share. Its investors would be delighted. On March 23, 2020, the share price was $8.90. Just 11 months later, on February 11, 2021, it reached $154.81.

Millennials and emerging Gen Z customers are embracing the buy now, pay later concept, painting a promising future for Afterpay.

Nick Molnar offers this business advice:

The key is to be attentive and actively listen. As our business expanded and the team grew, it was crucial to listen to my team first before taking action.

3. Patrick Finnegan

Patrick embarked on his business journey as a politically active 11-year-old fundraiser, raising funds for President Obama’s initial campaign. He was so active that he was invited to the Presidential inauguration.

As a teenager, he launched tech startups Prepprep Showcase and WorldState, targeting Gen Z viewers. This was just one step towards becoming a young venture capitalist. At just 24, Finnegan is building a successful portfolio with investments in over 30 companies, including Lyft, Hims, and Switch.

He applies his Gen Z astuteness to “anticipate the future of early-stage consumer venture capital by leveraging his extensive online network, pairing them with opportunities in Silicon Valley.

Patrick Finnegan offers this advice:

“I am not a graduate of Harvard Business School. The way I assess a company is very different. I consider how my generation relates to it; I ponder its relevance. Is it trendy? Does it have longevity?”

4. Cody Alt

Cody Alt’s journey is a true inspiration, evolving from a small town with just twenty residents in Montana to a leader in the CBD/Cannabis industry.

 In 2012, he co-founded Mon-Dak Oilfield Services as an oil rig reclamation contractor by the age of 26, earning $50,000 a week. He decided to venture into a new business – Body Fuel, which depleted his funds so much that in 2016, at 28, he resorted to distributing flyers and working as a bartender to make a living.

It was during this challenging period that he turned to what he saw as a major opportunity – cannabis. As the regulatory landscape for cannabis evolved, Alt saw an opportunity to start a series of vertically integrated businesses that could position him to dominate the market.

The four companies – PureKana, Kushly, Elevate Media, Slapps Underwear, and Never Sell Dope, generated over $60 million in 2019. The first two companies focus on CBD (legal in all 50 states) and cannabis products. While many new players have entered the cannabis market, Alt uses Social Media to build his personal brand and expand his business.

In August, Alt announced that PureKana would be listed on the NASDAQ through a reverse merger with the Canadian company, AF1 Capital Corp. Cody Alt advises: “I poured my heart and soul into this company to get it off the ground when I had nothing. I have other successful companies now, but none of that would have been possible if I hadn’t hit rock bottom, learned to refocus my priorities in life, and held myself accountable to prevent failure.”

5. Taraji P. Henson

Henson’s presence on this list might come as a surprise. The actress, known for her roles in Hidden Figures and Empire, has ventured into the business world. Henson has a beauty product and hair care line, a production company, and a mental health foundation.

Having dealt with mental health issues in silence, she started a nonprofit to combat the stigma around mental health. In 2018, she launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named after her father, a Vietnam veteran who struggled with mental illness.

Henson struggled to find a black therapist during her own mental health struggles, comparing it to “looking for a purple unicorn with a golden horn.” Initially focused on raising awareness about mental health, she quickly shifted focus when the COVID pandemic hit, like any true entrepreneur. The foundation now focuses on promoting mental healthcare. Henson has raised over $1.6 million in donations, with a focus on African Americans and women in need of support. Her TPH by Taraji brand was launched in January 2020 and quickly secured a deal with Target. When she realized there weren’t enough products addressing scalp issues, Henson decided to launch her own haircare brand. She formulated the product herself over a decade.

Taraji P. Henson advises:

“I look forward to rewarding employees, and I look forward to showing appreciation to my employees because I want them to know how much they mean to me and how valued they are and how much I rely on them.”

6. Michele Romanow

Michele Romanow has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She founded the first zero consumer waste coffee shop while in college and started three other companies before turning 30. She is also the youngest ever investor on Canada’s Dragon Den, the country’s version of Shark Tank.

Her most successful business is Clearbanc, launched in 2015, through which she has invested over $1 billion in over 3000 companies. Clearbanc is a venture capital firm that “specializes in non-dilutive revenue-share agreements with start-ups. It is known for its “20-minute term sheet”, offering equity-free investments in companies.” It is the largest e-commerce investor in the world. Michele Romanow shares her advice: “You have to understand that all ideas start very small. The biggest piece of advice I have is that you have to start right now. Literally, right now, where you are today.”

7. Rohan Shah

In 2019, Rohan Shah founded Extend, a company that makes it easier for merchants to offer extended warranties online. The customer experience is also improved, as they can submit a request online and receive approval within seconds. Extend generates revenue through a commission on warranty sales.

In the past twelve months, they have announced partnerships with iRobot, Peloton, Harman, and Logitech. At the same time, they have raised $56 million in funding from Meritech Capital and PayPal Ventures. Rohan Shah offers his advice: “Trust is literally plastered on the wall in our office. Trust is the #1 word that we prioritize when we develop features for our end consumers. How can they trust us more than previous programs? And how can we foster even more trust and loyalty between that end consumer and the brand they purchased from?”

8. Adam Cooper

Adam Cooper’s journey has not been smooth. He was expelled from both his Primary and Secondary schools; he ended up with just 4 GCSEs, which would be disheartening for many. He became a certified MOT inspector and worked for seven different vehicle repair companies before realizing he needed more. In 2012, he began his property venture at Taylors Estate Agency, where he truly found his calling.

In 2016, he joined City Homes Estate Agents as a lettings negotiator, and within three months, he was running the branch and overseeing five employees. He spent two years at the company and grew their portfolio from 80 to 245 managed properties in that short time. Eventually, he decided to take a leap of faith and start his own venture. He had finally found his true passion.

His entrepreneurial vision has come to fruition, as he founded Freedom Homes in December 2017. It all started in his spare room, but Adam’s presence in the industry began to grow with hard work and commitment. By November 2020, he had six successful companies under his belt, had flipped numerous HMOs, and invested in various properties, earning six-figure profits. His story continues to unfold. He now has five employees, a build team of 13 + contractors, 7 ongoing HMO projects, and a further 10 in the pipeline. Adam completely turned his life around, transitioning from an unfulfilling car mechanic to a business owner. He is dedicated to supporting others in realizing their true potential and aims to establish an entrepreneur academy to help over 1 million young aspiring entrepreneurs change the world.

Adam Cooper advises:

“You don’t need fancy highbrow traditions or money to truly learn. You just need people with the desire to improve themselves.

9. Adam Probert

Adam Probert realized early on in his business venture that as businesses transitioned to a more digital space, they were neglecting the human connection that initially propelled their success.

Combining his inherent passion for people and food, Adam transitioned from banking to assist some of London’s most renowned restaurants with communication and marketing services.

By focusing on branding, community, and content, Adam bridged the gap between online and offline, helping businesses refine their brand and connect with their audience on a personal level.

Not long into his new endeavor, Adam recognized that he could replicate the success he’d achieved with restaurants across multiple industries and has since worked with brands in the drinks, automotive, hotel, fitness, members club, and travel sectors.

After operating under the name of his famous Instagram handle ‘Adam Eats’ since 2017, Adam officially launched his marketing agency, AXJ Media, in 2021.

AXJ Media’s mission is to help businesses be seen, heard, and appreciated, fully encompassing Adam’s core of placing people at the heart of business.

Adam and his growing team are looking forward to the challenges and impactful work that 2021 has in store, along with satisfied clients!

10. Josh Abbot

A young entrepreneur, consultant, strategist, adventurer, and synergist – Josh Abott epitomizes the complete package.  

Josh has gained valuable international exposure and experience from some of the most innovative entrepreneurs and companies worldwide, having lived and worked across Singapore, the UK, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Madrid, Dubai, and Barcelona. From the age of 19, Josh worked for Uber when the company first launched its services in Singapore, Antler (a venture capital firm with 190 portfolio company investments within two years, and Ofo (Ofo raised $2bn+ funding, led by Alibaba, scaling globally).

Josh now spends his time connecting dots globally as a strategist, helping to structure some of the fastest growing companies globally. For instance, Josh is building ‘Growth Shop’ with their CEO. Growth Shop nurtures, launches, and scales direct-to-consumer brands in which they hold or have significant ownership stakes. One of their brands experienced a 3000% growth in just six months, yielding multi-million dollar revenues.

Additionally, Josh works on synergistic deals between entities globally, engaging many companies and their most significant clients, such as Wiser. Moreover, his collaboration with one of the world’s largest football clubs in sourcing sponsorship partners inspired him to launch Venture Sports & Entertainment Ltd with three of the most prominent sports agents in the UK. Their focus for 2021 is fostering deals across football and eSports. 

“My future plan is to continue having fingers in multiple pies, being the guy who can ‘make things happen,’ while making a positive impact on the world” – Josh says. 

Josh has already begun to make an impact on the world, being the right-hand-man to the Founder of Stronger Generations (charity) in raising funds and establishing vital connections. Stronger Generations encourages young people to make a positive difference in their world, conducting workshops and constructing schools and homes for refugees.

It is hard not to be inspired after hearing the stories of these remarkable business leaders. By reaching out to these determined and focused entrepreneurs, we feel that we have built connections within the business community. As a result, we have gained insight into what it takes to be a dynamic entrepreneur and given them the recognition they deserve.

These resilient individuals are at varying stages of their business ventures and come from diverse industries. They are all committed to achieving success, or rather, even greater success than they currently enjoy. The greatest acknowledgment they can receive is our support. Be sure to follow each of these inspiring business leaders as they continue to flourish and grow in 2021.

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  1. Guest

    The reader may find this text intriguing and informative, as it highlights 10 entrepreneurs who are expected to make a significant impact in 2021. It could be seen as a valuable resource for those seeking inspiration or looking for potential role models in the entrepreneurial world. The reader might appreciate the diversity of the entrepreneurs mentioned, as it suggests a range of industries and backgrounds. Overall, this text seems to offer a promising glimpse into the entrepreneurial landscape for the upcoming year.