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Million-dollar start-up founder heads homeless cause

Jordan Grives Vinnies CEO Sleepout Ambassador

Concerned millennial: Jordan Grives, co-founder of million-dollar telecommunications company Fonebox, will help the St Vincent de Paul Society stop homeless as the Vinnies CEO Sleepout Ambassador.

JORDAN Grives never gets tired of proving millennials are more than just savvy tech-heads with a hunger for the million-dollar lifestyle.

The 26-year-old c0-founded telecommunications business Fonebox when he was just 18, and is estimated to be making $10 million profit this coming financial year.

But it’s where the young business owner puts his money that is earning him a respectful reputation as a champion for the less fortunate, in particular for the homeless.

“I live down the river in Teneriffe, and at times when I’m driving through there after work I see some homeless people on the streets,” Mr Grives said.

“It’s nowhere near the numbers in Sydney or Melbourne, but they are there.

“It hits home when you’re driving comfortably to a comfortable house and you see homeless on the streets.”

Confronted by growing numbers of homeless in Australia, Mr Grives took to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, raising more than $35,000 for the St Vincent de Paul Society’s CEO Sleepout on June 18.

His first-time success earned him the title of Vinnies CEO Sleepout Ambassador for 2016.

“I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to grab a beanie and a sleeping bag and sleep rough for one night so others don’t have to do it for life,” he said.

“I was one of the lucky ones, and only 18 when I co-founded my business.

“Kids and teens under 18 make up the 27 per cent of all homeless people in Queensland – it’s a reality-check for people like me who are in the position to help.

“I’m going to utilise my network to help drive youth support of homelessness, and get it on the radar of today and tomorrow’s leaders.”

Mr Grives said young successful business leaders like him were capable of helping charities tackle large social issues.

“I don’t think enough people my age give back enough,” Mr Grives said.

“Many do it because there are tax deductions but none are doing it from a feel-good perspective.

“We see homelessness (in the city) and we’re in a position where we could generate a lot of money with not a lot of work.

“Sometimes when you’re busy with your head down, you can forget there are things out there that you need to be giving back to.”

By Emilie Ng

Written by: Emilie Ng

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