About Us

Shell Foundation is an independent charity established by the Shell Group in 2000 to create and scale new solutions to global development challenges. We apply business thinking to major social and environmental issues linked to the energy sector – and seek to leverage the skills and networks of Shell where possible to deliver greater development impact.

Over the years, learning from both success and failure, we have established a new enterprise-based model to deliver significant and lasting social and environmental outcomes. We now deploy a blend of financial and non-financial resources to accelerate social innovation and harness private markets to deliver public benefit at scale.

Our Approach

Shell Foundation works with a small number of entrepreneurial partners to identify the market failures that underpin many of the world’s problems and co-create new social enterprises to solve them. We provide patient grant funding, extensive business support and access to networks to help pioneers to validate new models, achieve financial independence and to expand across geographies.

Once a new solution is proven to be viable we create specialist intermediaries to facilitate growth and replication at an industry level.

By applying this approach to major global challenges such as job creation, access to energy, urban mobility and sustainable supply chains, we have created several strategic partners that are now delivering large-scale impact in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Key Facts

     
 
  • Shell Foundation was established with a $250m endowment from the Shell Group.
  • We have a mixed Board of Trustees and our own Business Principles to enshrine our charitable objectives and govern our activities.
  • We focus on a few issues with a small number of entrepreneurial partners.
  • We act like a business in the way we assess our effectiveness and regularly publish our internal performance analysis to support organisations in related fields.
  • We are part of a small yet growing number of “venture philanthropists” who view enterprise-based models as a cost-effective way to support inclusive economic development.
 

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