Travels from California, USA
Speaker fee starts in range: $75,000 and above
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 WORLD
A 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.
Blake Mycoskie shares how his refusal to listen to conventional business advice created one of the most successful social entrepreneurial models in the world. After spending a day of his Argentinian vacation working with a non-profit group that collected and delivered shoes to children in the slums surrounding Buenas Aires, Blake was inspired to find a more sustainable model of meeting the children's needs. As a seasoned businessman with no experience organizing or running charities, he felt uncomfortable depending on donations, so he came up with the idea of a for-profit shoe company, TOMS, that would donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased.
His colleagues and friends back in Los Angeles admired the idea, but said that a one-for-one system could never be a pillar of sustainable business, insisting that it was simply too much to give away. Not only did Blake go ahead with his plan anyway, he later made the decision to not spend a dime on traditional marketing, instead focusing on ways to engage top customers whose evangelism was far more effective than paid ads.
Funds, then, were channeled to the "TOMS' Ticket Program" which allowed loyal customers to accompany the crew on their shoe giving trips around the world. "It became very clear to me if there was one thing that our most loyal customers and fans wanted more than anything, it was to actually go and put shoes on kids' feet," Blake states.
In personal compelling keynotes, Blake Mycoskie relates how the success of TOM’s came out of his passion to help the world, a willingness to throw out the traditional business guide, and the courage to experiment with new ideas. As he can attest from personal experiences, starting a business to do good has its obstacles, but growing and sustaining it brings on a whole different set challenges. Blake offers a unique perspective on building purpose-driven companies, making and executing major decisions such as scaling your business, and staying focused on your core mission in the midst of the chaos that sometimes comes with growth, change, and criticism.
His bold, winning strategies are proven, and have been talked about by Bill Clinton, the Obama administration, and the hundreds of thousands of customers that have joined the TOMS movement by buying a pair of shoes. Inspired, inspiring and most of all practical, Mycoskie presents a new direction for business, offering TOMS as his prime case study. After hearing him speak, you too will know why giving just makes sense.
The New Social Entrepreneurism
How do you turn ideas into great businesses? And how do you create businesses that people love, and love to talk about? In this keynote, serial entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie shares his secrets for starting, growing, and sustaining new businesses. Before TOMS, Mycoskie ran a successful national campus laundry service, sold a media company to Clear Channel, and ran an online driving school featuring hybrid cars. Where did each idea come from, and what is the common thread connecting their success?
With infectious enthusiasm, hard-won lessons, and a generous sense of encouragement, Mycoskie lets you in on the proven tactics he’s used to become one of the new faces of American entrepreneurism.
“One of the most interesting entrepreneurs [I’ve] ever met.”
– President Bill Clinton
“Having Blake at our executive retreat was a great decision. His passion for doing something that matters was inspiring and engaging. No matter how seasoned an executive you are, Blake’s entrepreneurial approach to business is a true example for all of us.”
– Chairman, NBC Entertainment
“Blake was wonderful! He established an immediate and warm connection with our students, provided a genuine, heartfelt life story connected to business principles. An absolute cannot miss speaker. The best part? His message has been sustained and we continue to prosper from his visit!”
– Dr. John Jasinski, President, Northwest Missouri State University
“Blake is the perfect speaker for your next meeting. He was insightful, funny, and had a fantastic rapport with the crowd. He connected with the audience with an open, conversational style that kept everyone engaged. Whether you want to hear about Tom’s, entrepreneurship, or doing good — he’s the guy you need.”
– Andy Sernovitz, CEO, SocialMedia.org
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Start Something That Matters
The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good.
Why this book is for you:
You’re ready to start something that matters.
With every book you purchase, a new book will be provided to a child in need. One for One.™
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