Scene of an African house two men talking outside

About Us

Shell Foundation (SF) is a registered charity, founded by Shell in 2000, that exists to support people living in low-income communities to escape poverty and ease hardship. We create and scale business solutions to enhance access to energy and affordable transport as a means to achieve this.

Lady loading mango slices onto shelved unit

Our Approach

  • SF supports innovators to test new technology and enterprise models to provide the energy and transport services that people living in low-income communities need to improve their health, education and income.
  • Once demand for a new product or service is proven, we co-create supply chain intermediaries, blended funds and non-profit institutions to support replication and market growth.
  • We use grant funding and non-grant instruments as appropriate, alongside extensive business support, and allocate a third of our budget to build a stronger enabling environment for social enterprises in target countries.
SF's market-based approach


Our independence is key to our ability to work across public and private sectors to deliver our charitable objectives. We deploy the full range of resources at our disposal: the knowledge, experience and skills of our staff, our funds, our networks and our ability to leverage value-adding support as we deem appropriate from others.

In line with our mission and charitable independence, Shell Foundation decides what issues to tackle, in which countries, with which partners, as well as if and when to draw on our links to Shell in ways that we believe will achieve large-scale development outcomes.

Our independence is maintained through:

  • A mixed board of trustees, including senior Shell leaders and leading figures from sectors relevant to international development with no previous link to Shell
  • The creation of an endowment, governed by the board of trustees, to fund our operations
  • A set of business principles to which our staff, board and partners are held accountable, that includes a commitment to protect our independence and is supported by a robust control framework to ensure these principles are followed
  • Regular reports that assess our performance against pre-defined impact targets and milestones
  • Transparent protocols to govern how and when we are able to leverage support from Shell in support of our charitable goals