Amy Williams: Good-Loop Founder & CEO
The #SheInnovates stories team sat down with Amy Williams to discuss the role of women in innovation. Get involved at She Innovates Global.
#SheInnovates Stories: Innovation is solving the world's problems. What problem are you solving?
Amy Williams: Ethical behaviour isn't profitable. This is a huge problem because, in a world of capitalist consumerism, things that aren't profitable aren't scalable or successful.
For less than a tenner, a charity in Argentina could feed 30 kids, or the Against Malaria Foundation could buy two more mosquito nets. Positive impact isn't that expensive, but because it isn't profitable, most of the money in the world flows from one corporate giant to another without ever touching these causes. So, I'm on a mission to make ethical behaviour easy for consumers and profitable for companies.
One way that ethical behaviour can be profitable is through marketing, as 66% of consumers say they would pay more for social [conscious] brands. My company Good-Loop is a marketing platform which aligns brands to social causes. Every time you watch their advert, you get to give a free donation to that cause. In this way, we're helping advertisers to get better ROI on their ad spend, whilst funding real social change.
#SheInnovates: When did you realize your innovation was a breakthrough?
AW: When advertisers started to use Good-Loop and started to see results! We now run ads for global brands like Knorr, Persil, Benefit Cosmetics, Canon and Kitkat and consistently find that our ethical ads deliver better performance than nonethical ads. I'm incredibly proud of this success.
#SheInnovates: What were some unexpected obstacles you overcame in the innovation process?
AW: The biggest challenges I have overcome and am continuing to face are predominantly mental ones. Self-doubt, a lack of confidence and second guessing are all old friends of mine. But, by taking each day and each small step forward as its own digestible chunk, I’ve been able to move the company forward and gather a team around [me] of amazing, supportive people.
There are also more global challenges with regards to the Good-Loop business. Specifically, we’ve had to constantly battle against a misconception that doing good in the world makes a business less profitable, less scalable and less investable. Fundamentally, with Good-Loop, doing good makes good business sense. This is something we have to work hard to make each new customer understand. The social aspect of our business isn’t a ‘nice to have’ as many investors of mine have tried to suggest; the social aspect is a fundamental competitive advantage in an industry full of distrust and negativity.
#SheInnovates: What inspires you to love your work?
AW: I'm inspired by other women I meet who have built awesome businesses. I have met so many awesome female founders over the last couple of years and I really value these connections. These women are often putting me forward for stuff, spotting new opportunities, or recommending Good-Loop to their own clients. Likewise, I'm always on the lookout for chances to give them a leg up. This supportive environment is a unique part of the 'female founder' experience.
#SheInnovates: What do you hope that young women coming behind you take from your work?
AW: The same thing I have taken from the work of women before me. The fire in your belly that tells you; you can do it too.
#SheInnovates: Why are women in innovation important?
AW: I'm hesitant to differentiate between 'men' and 'women,' as each individual has a unique collection of experiences which will inevitably colour their approach to innovation. More generally, I would say that the 'feminine' in all of us is a crucial part of the equation. Our 'feminine' side brings empathy, collaboration and compassion, without which we'd all struggle to find the best solutions to the biggest issues facing our world today.
Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and length.