Simon is an engineer and economist turned social entrepreneur. In 2007, after turning down his dream job offer as a corporate high-flyer, he moved from Australia to South Africa to immerse himself in his true passion: development aid. There he discovered that the biggest problem faced by NGOs and social entrepreneurs is a lack of funding.
Driven by a passion to use business to give back, in 2010, Simon had the idea to start a toilet paper company that builds toilets in the developing world. In 2012, he launched Who Gives A Crap with a crowd funding campaign, agreeing to sit on a toilet on a live webfeed until he had pre-sold the first $50,000 of toilet rolls. The multi-award winning launch attracted global media attention and generated over $1 million of PR value.
Since launching, Who Gives A Crap has tripled in size year-on-year without any marketing or advertising spend. As of January 2015, Who Gives A Crap had provided more than 50,000 people with access to a toilet for one year.
Simon is also well known as the co-founder and Director of Shebeen, a non-profit bar in Melbourne’s CBD. Shebeen sells exotic beer and wine from the developing world, with 100% of the profit from each sale going to a development project in that drink’s country of origin. Drinking an Ethiopian beer at Shebeen helps to provide an Ethiopian farmer with access to life-changing agricultural equipment, and a buying a glass of South African wine sees South African school children gain access to local language books.
Simon is one of Australia’s most prominent social entrepreneurs, and his work has been covered by countless media outlets around the world, including The Huffington Post, MTV, The Standford Social Innovation Review and The New York Times.
Simon was very engaging from the beginning and a great way to finish off the conference. The audience was very inspired and enjoyed his message. Some delegates even signed up to order toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap.
Peel Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.
Simon’s presentation was extremely entertaining and informative. He is very personable and had our guests completely engaged. What an inspirational and thoughtful guy… who has achieved so much already at such a young age. We look forward to seeing where he goes from here… which will undoubtedly be far!
CEO Forum Group
Simon was very inspirational in his talk at the Big Friday of Social Entrepreneurship at MGSM. He shared the highs and lows of being a social entrepreneurs very openly, while also being highly engaging and entertaining. He then took the time to engage with the students, which they found very helpful. Thank you for a great talk!
AWESOME ...Absolutely wonderful.
Just a note of thanks for the great presentation you gave at our recent INNOV8 function. I have had great feedback from everything about your engaging presentation nature to the awesome innovations you have worked to deliver, to your passion for making a difference. I am stoked you got everyone talking and provided a memorable presentation to our Innovation community.