We all are well acquainted with the design app named Canva. Its multifunctionality and not-so complicated features have made the app one of the favorites of industry professionals. Although initially getting rejected by over 100 investors, Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva, didn’t lose hope. And as a result, she was successful in building a tech start-up valued over $1 billion.
Background – Perkins was born in 1987 in Perth, Australia. During middle school, she was a figure skater aspirant and was under strict routine. However, she always had an entrepreneurial mindset, which led her to start her first business at the age of 14. She used to sell handmade scarves at various shops and markets across Perth.
Social Impacts – Back in 2013, Perkins along with her then boyfriend Cliff Obrecht built an user-friendly design platform. Unlike Adobe Photoshop, there’s no technical experience required in using Canva. Perkins is amongst the 2 percent of female CEOs of venture-backed companies, and as a young entrepreneur she discussed her journey in order to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their dreams. Furthermore, she has implemented certain policies at Canva that exclude bias in the hiring process, which ultimately resulted in Canva obtaining 41% female representation, significantly higher than the industry average of 28%.
As of 2021, Canva is valued at around $54.7 billion AUD, which made her one of the richest amongst young tech CEOs. Hence, to give back to the community, Perkins has recently announced that she intends on giving the vast majority of the wealth away. She’s planning to donate the vast majority of her equity, nearly 30% of Canva, to the world through the Canva Foundation. “As Canva’s value grows, so too does our ability to have a positive impact on the world. And as we have a positive impact on the world, we believe that Canva will grow too by being able to attract and motivate the best team and our community who care about having a positive impact on the world too.” Perkins stated.
Accolades – Back in 2015, within two years of launching Canva, Perkins was awarded the top prize at the NSW Technology Entrepreneur of the Year awards in recognition of her ‘entrepreneurial endeavors and role model qualities’. She has also been named in Forbes “Top under 30 Founders of the Decade” alongside Mark Zuckerberg and Daniel Ek.
Perkins has certainly established her name worldwide and thus urges to give back to the world. Despite being an outsider, she has established a multi-billion dollar platform which not only made her an excellent inspiration to the young generation, but also encouraged people from diverse backgrounds to chase their dreams.
– Mohor Bhattacharjee