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Simon Ward

Social Impact Business

Simon Ward, the CEO and founder of Floatpays, discusses the theory and practice of striking a balance between making profit and having social impact.

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Having spent 20 years as an entrepreneur and business leader in the fintech and e-commerce sectors abroad, Simon Ward returned to South Africa in 2019 with a burning desire to use his accumulated knowledge and experience to make a contribution to his country of birth. His vehicle of choice was Floatpays, an earned-wage access app that has proven itself in the US market.

He launched Floatpays in 2020 as a social-impact driven business with the mission to help move employed people out of bead-debt cycles and into long-term financial wellness. Heavy Chef named Floatpays one of its top five most exciting startups in 2022.


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10 Tasty Bites 

Below is a preview of what you can expect to learn in this recipe. 

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About This Recipe


Does a country whose citizens have notoriously poor financial habits need another business that gives employees access to their salaries before payday? Yes, says Simon Ward, CEO and founder of Floatpays, but only if that business offers a product that enables and simplifies the journey to financial wellness.

In this recipe, Simon shares the journey that culminated in the launch of the Floatpays app in South Africa, as well as charts the ways in which the app continues to evolve to meet the needs of its customers. Importantly, he illustrates that social impact and profitability are not mutually exclusive.

Topics Simon covers include the challenges of building an app, considerations to bear in mind when you want to start a social-impact business, Floatpays’ revenue model and the difference between earned-wage access and payday lending.


What You'll Learn


 In this recipe you will learn:

  • What to consider when you want to build a business driven by social impact.
  • How a social-impact motive guides decisions on a revenue model.
  • Different ways to learn about your target audience and app users.
  • Why a culture of curiosity and learning is important to nurture entrepreneurs inside your business.
  • Whether or not you should build all your tech from scratch.


Learn from someone who speaks from a position of real authority, perspective and experience.


Implement practical tips and techniques learned in the trenches - doing, rather than talking.


Join a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs in our growing community and share your learnings as you go.

Get Learning

This entrepreneurial micro-course will take you only a few minutes per day (or you can binge if you want to). Feel free to skip around and please let us know what you think. 

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Deep Cuts 

Love this recipe? Here are some additional videos to delve even further into the topic.


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