Shell Foundation is an independent charity that applies a business approach to global development challenges that constrain job creation, access to energy and urban mobility.
Shell Foundation (SF) provides a mix of business support, grant funding and market links to help entrepreneurs prove their business models, achieve financial independence and expand into new markets. The Foundation applies business thinking to major social and environmental issues linked to the energy sector.
Since 2000, SF has deployed $263 million of grant funding to social enterprises and new market builders operating in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
2016 social enterprise partner highlights
SafeBoda operates a network of trained motorcycle taxi drivers in Uganda. Safety is a major issue in the capital Kampala where 40% of trauma cases are estimated to be caused by motorcycle taxi accidents. SafeBoda customers can access transport on-demand using their mobile phone to book and pay for a driver. The start-up has rapidly grown its network in the city from 100 to more than 1,100 drivers. In 2016, its customers made over 4.5 million trips.
Dharma Life provides people in rural India with access to social-impact products such as cleaner cookstoves and solar lights. The business works with village entrepreneurs, offering skills training, logistics support and awareness campaigns to build demand. In 2016, its entrepreneur network in villages grew by 150% to 10,758 entrepreneurs across 12 states in India. To date, more than 4 million people have gained access to the products.
GroFin provides finance and business support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to spur job creation in emerging markets. The company has provided $286 million of growth finance to small and growing businesses in Africa and the Middle East. In 2015, a GroFin report stated an estimated $469 million of economic value is generated each year from its support of more than 500 SMEs.
Identify the market failures that underpin issues related to energy, mobility and job creation and seek high-potential yet high-risk solutions that could impact millions of lives.
Work with innovative entrepreneurs to test a range of new solutions to find evidence for market demand and consumer preferences, as well as the viability of the business model.
Create a Pioneer
Develop long-term partnerships with entrepreneurs who have proven skills and experience, then create new organisations that aim for large-scale impact and financial independence.
Once partners have proven the viability of their models in a particular region, SF supports them to build operational capacity for global expansion.
Tackle Market Barriers
Identify structural barriers that prevent sustainable growth for businesses and work to address them through the creation of specialist supply chain intermediaries and financial organisations.
Creating one pioneer simply is not enough. To help others replicate and adapt these models the SF creates neutral institutions and industry associations to provide data, standards and coordination of public and private support.
Shell Foundation’s impact to date
tonnes of carbon reduction