40 Next

Emerging business leaders who are shaping our future

Business is not limited to the boardroom. Social media helped reinforce this. Coupled with adaptability and a forward-thinking approach, this mobility is altering (in real time) the way we engage others. The objective may be the same, but the rules are different as a new breed of professionals emerges to dominate the business landscape.

These BE Nexters—those 21–35 years old making a measurable impact within their respective business, organization, industry, or field—prove things just aren’t the same.

For this group, leveraging expertise in one area to maximize an opportunity in another is standard. Using the legacy of their business predecessors to forge their own waydar, this new generation of leadership accepts the torch without trepidation. But the commonality between then and now is that success still takes a focused, strategic, and passionate mindset.

Here Black Enterprise identifies 40 young business leaders who are changing the game now and for the future. These BE Nexters are standouts in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate America, academia, nonprofit, the arts, and the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)—all with a national, and in some cases a global reach.

Over the next 40 years, they will emerge as our business leaders. What will the generations to come have to say about them? Will they appreciate the successes they’ve made or be intimidated by following in their footsteps? The world of business will have to watch and see.

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