Our Founder: Simon Franks
Simon founded the Franks Family Foundation in 2006, after transferring his focus from business projects to philanthropic pursuits.
Simon is the founder of a number of successful businesses and an investor behind a number of enterprises including the first company in Europe to stream feature films over the internet. He sold his first business in 2000, to German public company, Helkon Media AG.
In 2003, Simon co-founded and seed-funded Video Island / Lovefilm, Europe’s leading online DVD rental business. Lovefilm was subsequently sold in 2011 to Amazon Inc.
Prior to selling it in October 2005, Simon co-founded Redbus Film Distribution (RFD), one of the leading UK film distributors. RFD had international success with films such as The Gift, Bend it Like Beckham, Maybe Baby and Good Night and Good Luck. It also produced a number of globally successful films. RFD was sold to the US studio Lionsgate Inc.
Between 2000 and 2004, Redbus was the UK’s fastest growing company with a compound annual growth rate in excess of 280% and today still backs some of Britain’s most exciting companies.
Simon has won a number of awards for business, including the Sunday Times Fast Track award.
In 2013, he was selected as one of the world’s 100 top innovators by British Airways and was part of the “BA Ungrounded” flight for the 2013 G8 summit.
In 2006, Simon switched his focus to philanthropic pursuits, establishing and funding the Franks Family Foundation (FFF) which he has worked full time for since 2010. The FFF manages and funds charitable endeavours around the world. These range from educational projects and scholarship programmes to travelling medical and health outreach projects. In addition to initiating and developing projects in South East Asia, Simon is a thought leader on international development, NGO organisation and civil society.
Simon is also politically engaged within the UK, having a particular interest in issues pertaining to international development, foreign policy and foreign aid. More generally, Simon is also a strong promoter of entrepreneurialism as a means of addressing economic problems within less advantaged communities and the UK as a whole.
Simon is married and lives in London. He is a member of the Cambodian Government Board overseeing NGS Schools in Cambodia, where he is also the International Chairman of The Lake Clinic. Simon is also an advisor to Tilganga Hospital in Kathmandu and Chairman of The Ruit Foundation amongst other positions.