About Us

Shell Foundation is an independent UK-registered 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.

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-creates 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.

Independence from Shell

Our independence is key to our ability to work across public and private sectors to deliver large-scale development outcomes.  This is maintained through a mixed board of trustees, a separate endowment, our own set of business principles to govern the actions of our staff and robust controls around leveraging support from Shell.
To meet our charitable mission, Shell Foundation deploys the full range of resources at our disposal – patient grant funding, the entrepreneurial skills of our staff, our networks and our ability to leverage value-adding support from others, including Shell. 
We maintain an “independent yet linked” relationship with our corporate founder so as to draw on specific technical and functional expertise, business tools and local networks where appropriate, in order to enhance our ability to achieve lasting public benefit. 

Key Facts

  • Shell Foundation was established as a UK registered charity with a $250m endowment from the Shell Group.
  • We focus on tackling development issues related to access to energy, sustainable mobility and job creation through supporting the growth of 
  • We work with small number of pioneering enterprises to scale their solutions across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • 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 progress on our performance 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.

Subscribe to the Shell Foundation newsletter

Subscribe to this report