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.
Simon was excellent! Really engaging and wonderful to work with.– Allegro Black
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 easy to work with, on time, flexible and accommodating. He is a great speaker. I love that he didn’t read information from a PowerPoint he just spoke from his experience. Very engaging and we had good feedback from the crowd.– Fundraising Institute of Australia
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!– Macquarie University