The story of a startupper: Melanie Perkins

Nijat Fataliyev

May 11

2 min

Are you curious about how one woman's passion for entrepreneurship and design led to a multi-billion dollar company that's changing the way we think about graphic design?

Today's blog is all about the incredible journey of Melanie Perkins, the CEO and co-founder of Canva. From humble beginnings as a startupper to global recognition as a leader in the tech industry, Perkins has built an empire on the back of her innovative ideas and unwavering commitment to making design accessible to everyone.

Let’s deep dive into the success story of this inspiring entrepreneur and discover what makes her such a role model for women in business! 


Who’s Melanie Perkins?

Melanie Perkins is an Australian entrepreneur who co-founded Canva, a graphic design platform that has become wildly popular among individuals and businesses alike. Perkins, who was born in Perth in 1987, has always had an interest in design and entrepreneurship.

Perkins first became interested in design while studying at the University of Western Australia, where she was frustrated by the lack of user-friendly design tools available to her. She saw an opportunity to create a more accessible design platform that could be used by anyone, regardless of their design skills or experience. In 2006, she founded her first startup, Fusion Books, which provided an online platform for creating and printing yearbooks.


How did she find the Canva?

Melanie Perkins came up with the idea for Canva while teaching students how to use InDesign, a professional graphic design software. She found that the software was too complex and difficult for most people to use, and believed that there was a need for a simpler and more user-friendly design tool. This led her to start working on the idea for Canva, which she co-founded in 2012 with Cameron Adams and Cliff Obrecht. Together, they created a platform that would make it easy for anyone to design professional-looking graphics and visual content!

The early-success of Canva

Canva gained its early success by focusing on solving a problem that many people faced when creating professional designs: the complexity and expense of existing design software. Melanie Perkins, together with other Co-founders - Cameron Adams, and Cliff Obrecht, recognized that many people needed an easier and more affordable way to create graphics and visual content, and set out to create a platform that would meet that need.

In addition to building a product that solved a real problem, Meanie and her team were also savvy marketers who recognized the power of social media and influencer marketing. They focused heavily on building a community around the product, encouraging users to share their designs on social media and offering incentives for users who referred friends to the platform. This helped to create a sense of excitement and momentum around the product, which in turn helped to drive its early success.


Inspiration to many women!

Perkins' success with Canva has not gone unnoticed. In 2019, Forbes listed her as one of the world's richest self-made women, with a net worth of over $1 billion. She has also been recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements, winning the Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2015 and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2019.

Perkins has built a company that has revolutionized the graphic design industry and made it easier and more accessible for people around the world. She has demonstrated incredible vision, determination, and leadership in growing Canva from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar company with millions of users.

In addition to her success as an entrepreneur, Perkins is also a role model for her commitment to social impact and environmental sustainability. She has been a vocal advocate for causes such as climate change and education, and has used her platform to champion initiatives that make a positive difference in the world. ?She’s also a champion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and has worked hard to create a company culture that is welcoming and supportive of people from all backgrounds and walks of life.


Overall, Melanie Perkins is an inspiration for women because of her incredible success as an entrepreneur, her commitment to making a positive impact on the world, and her dedication to promoting diversity, inclusion, and empowerment in the workplace. Her story is a testament to what can be achieved with hard work, determination, and a passion for making a difference!

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