Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One, a concept which began with the premise that for every pair of shoe purchased, one pair of shoes would be donated to a child in need.
TOMS humble beginnings happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Mycoskie witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations.
Since 2006, TOMS has donated 10 million pairs of new shoes to children in need and has now expanded to a new aim, to save and restore sight for over 150,000 people in need.
In the fall of 2011, Mycoskie released his first book, ‘Start Something That Matters’, offering his own amazing story of inspiration, and the power of incorporating giving in business. He references other companies and individuals who have been motivated and inspired to integrate philanthropy into their profession as well as their personal lives. The book became a New York Times best-seller. More importantly, it is Blake Mycoskie’s hope that ‘Start Something That Matters’ inspires others to turn their passion and dreams into a reality.
From shoes to eyewear and now a book, Mycoskie’s unique approach to business has awarded him numerous accolades. In 2009, Mycoskie and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). At the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, former President Clinton introduced Mycoskie to the audience as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I’ve) ever met.” People Magazine featured Mycoskie in its “Heroes Among Us” section, and TOMS Shoes was featured in the Bill Gates Time Magazine article “How to Fix Capitalism.” In 2011, Mycoskie was named on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, recognising him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.
Blake Mycoskie attended One Young World 2013 Johannesburg delivering a keynote speech for the Global Business Plenary Session.