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Simon Griffiths

Travels from: Victoria

Categories: Business Speakers, Innovation

Full Presenter Profile & Bio

Simon Griffiths 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 Non-Government Organisations 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. Two years later, 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.

His speaking topics include:

  • The Business of Making a Difference
  • Business: Failing leads to Success
  • Innovation: Everyone's doing it, bur we're doing it different
  • Be Bold and Make it Happen

Three key messages you will take away from Simon's presentation:

1. Doing good is good business: consumers want to give back and are on the lookout for value-aligned brands that let them create more impact with their purchases

2. Doing good isn't always easy: doing good is good business, but purpose-led businesses are held to a higher level of scrutiny than regular for-profit businesses.  Showing customers that your company is true to its word helps to build an abnormally high level of brand trust resulting in customers going above and beyond for brands they love!  

3. Everything is marketing: in the new world of hyper-connectivity where customers can share brand moments at the swipe of a finger, everything that a company creates can (and must!) be thought of as a marketing opportunity.

Simon Griffiths - Business Speakers

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