Co-founder and CEO of Who Gives A Crap
New Capitalism: 10 Lessons from Scaling a Purpose-Led Business
Simon will share 10 lessons learned from scaling Who Gives A Crap from an idea to a global business with more than $8 million donated. He will talk about how doing good is good business, the power of building trust in your customer base, and how to turn ordinary interactions into delightfully shareable moments.
Simon Griffiths is on a mission to change the world, one toilet paper roll at a time. While studying engineering and commerce at the University of Melbourne, Simon spent his holidays traveling around the developing world, working with a variety of nonprofit organisations and consequently learning about the issues that plagued these communities. Among the stats that shocked him, Simon discovered that 40% of the global population -- that’s more than 2 billion people -- don’t have access to a toilet and 297k children under five years-old die each year from these preventable sanitation issues.
After graduation, Simon landed his dream job but quickly realised that his heart was in the nonprofit world. Despite the dire issues these organisations were working to solve, he found that regardless of resources, the one thing they all suffered from was a lack of sustainable funding. Simon realised the best way to give back was by monetising everyday necessities with a scalable model that kept impact directly tied to sales. He dabbled in a few social enterprises before realising that toilet paper is the one product that everyone can get behind.
Simon assembled a loo crew of engineering and design experts, including his two co-founders, who all felt strongly about the sanitation crisis. Toilet humour got the best of them when they kicked off Who Gives A Crap by livestreaming from a toilet until there were enough pre-orders to start production. Fifty hours, 2.5 million social media impressions and a sore bum later, he’d raised more than $50,000.
They’ve been on a roll ever since. In July 2020, Who Gives A Crap announced their biggest donation to date — over $5 million, which will help fund the work of six charities around the world. Bringing the total lifetime donation to $8.35 million.
Simon has been recognised by The Age’s Melbourne Magazine as one of Melbourne’s Top 100 Most Influential People in 2011. In 2013 he was shortlisted for Young Australian of the Year.