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 crowdfunding 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, primarily relying on word-of-mouth to fuel its growth. In five years, Who Gives A Crap donated more than $1 million, reaching a milestone in 2020 of $8.3 million.
Simon is also well known as the co-founder of Shebeen, a non-profit bar in Melbourne’s CBD that opened in February 2013 and ran for 3.5 years. Shebeen sold 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.
Simon is one of Australia’s most prominent social entrepreneurs. His work has been covered by countless media outlets around the world, including The Huffington Post, MTV and The Stanford Social Innovation Review.