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About Us

Shell Foundation (SF) is a charity registered in England and Wales, founded by Shell in 2000, that creates and scales business solutions to empower underserved populations to earn a living income through access to clean energy products and services.

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Our Approach

  • SF works with a small number of entrepreneurial partners to address underlying market challenges behind global development problems and innovate new enterprise-based solutions to address them.
  • SF provides patient funding, strategic support and access to networks to help pioneers to validate new models, achieve financial independence and expand across geographies to reach as many people as possible.
  • SF then works with sector partners – specialist intermediaries to facilitate growth and replication at an industry level, or large corporate partners already serving millions of our target customer groups – to maximise the scale and speed of its social impact.
  • Through its working model, SF has entered several strategic partnerships to amplify its impact in multiple countries across Africa and Asia.
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