Blake Mycoskie

Inspired by a visit to poor children in the slums outside Buenas Aires

About

Inspired by a visit to poor children in the slums outside Buenas Aires, he founded TOMS, a shoe brand that donates one pair of shoes to kids in need for every pair sold. His one-for-one operating system has written the next chapter in business model history and ushered in a wave of social entrepreneurship. Sharing his ups and downs at TOMS, he proves that in today's purpose-driven market place, businesses need to lead with "Why?" instead of "What?" or "How?"TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie rewrote the rules of for-profits and philanthropy by creating and following the “one for one” business model. As a social entrepreneur and enthusiastic speaker, Blake shows that using business to improve lives is the number one competitive advantage in today’s markets. While visiting Argentina in 2006, Blake met some American women who were part of a volunteer organization that provided shoes for children in need. He spent several days traveling from village to village with the group, as well as on his own, witnessing the intense pockets of poverty just outside the bustling capital and the blisters, sores, and infections that came from being shoeless. This experience sparked a desire and excitement to find a more sustainable way to help poor kids get the shoes they needed. His solution was simple yet revolutionary – create a for-profit business that was not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon evolved into the One for One business model, providing the powerful foundation for TOMS. To date, TOMS has given over 45 million pairs of new shoes to children in need. Throughout the years Blake has started additional product/program lines including TOMS Eyewear to help restore sight to those in need with every purchase of sunglasses and optical frames; TOMS Roasting Co., a direct trade, premium coffee line which helps provide clean water to developing countries and communities in need; and TOMS Bag Collection, which focuses on safe births for mothers and babies through skilled birth attendant training and birth kits. As of this date, at least one-third of TOMS shoes are manufactured in the countries where it operates giving campaigns. In 2014 Blake sold 50% of TOMs to Bain Capital, and is using 50% of the profits from the sale to fund other social entrepreneurs. He continues to act as Tom’s Chief Shoe Giver and focus on using business to make the world a better place. FOUNDER OF TOMS; NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR; ONE OF USA TODAY’S FIVE BEST COMMUNICATORS IN THE WORLDA visionary global leader, entrepreneur, adventurer and bestselling author, Blake Mycoskie is Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the catalyst behind the now-ubiquitous One for One® movement. Having championed a forward-looking model for corporate responsibility and conscious consumerism, he continues to guide TOMS toward its 10th anniversary milestone in 2016 while fulfilling its mandate to assist disadvantaged people worldwide through the targeted donation of products and services as well as the economic stimulus of local production and job creation. Recognizing his ongoing commitment, Richard Branson recently asked Blake to join The B Team, a group of worldwide leaders which seeks to catalyze a movement of corporate executives who embrace a better way of doing business, both for the wellbeing of people and the planet. The youngest member of the B Team, Blake joins a group that currently includes Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Muhammad Yunus, among others. TOMS’ humble beginnings happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution was simple yet revolutionary – create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon evolved into the One for One business model, providing the powerful foundation for TOMS. Over the course of its first five years, TOMS provided millions of new shoes to children through humanitarian organizations, donating different kinds of shoes appropriate for each community. But Blake recognized other vital needs and saw that One for One could be applied to more than shoes. In 2011 he launched TOMS Eyewear to help restore sight to those in need with every purchase of sunglasses and optical frames. In 2014 Blake launched TOMS Roasting Co., a direct trade, premium coffee line which helps provide clean water to developing countries and communities in need. In early 2015 came the TOMS Bag Collection, focused on safe births for mothers and babies through skilled birth attendant training and birth kits. To date, TOMS has given over 45 million pairs of new shoes to children in need. TOMS Eyewear has helped restore sight to over 325,000 people in need, and TOMS Roasting Co. has helped provide over 175,000 weeks of safe water to communities in need. As important as these gratis products and services, TOMS is committed to creating jobs through shoe production in developing countries around the world. It recently exceeded its goal of producing at least one-third of its giving shoes in the regions in which it gives, which currently span Asia/India, Africa, South America and Haiti. In 2013, Blake recognized that the One for One movement had become bigger than TOMS and launched The Marketplace. Bringing dozens of socially conscious brands together on TOMS. com, The Marketplace offers both a platform for these companies to succeed as well as a destination for consumers to shop and give their purchases a broader purpose. Blake’s 2011 book, Start Something That Matters, quickly became a New York Times best-seller. Detailing his personal story, the book serves as a call to action for others to incorporate giving into business and turn their own passion and dreams into reality. Blake’s trailblazing approach to business earned him and TOMS the Secretary of State’s Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). He was also named on Fortune’s “40 under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.

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This profile was created by the MicDrop team with public information found from SPEAKING.com