Chris West has a background in business and development. He helped establish the Shell Foundation in 2000 and was its Director from 2008-2015. In this role he promoted an “enterprise-based” approach to philanthropy, being one of the early advocates of venture philanthropy. He has helped create and scale up a portfolio of leading social enterprises involved in the provision of clean energy, sustainable mobility and job creation by small and medium sized enterprises.
Chris is currently a co-founder of Sumerian Foundation, which deploys a venture philanthropy approach to support social enterprises tackle social inequality in the UK as well as pro-poor healthcare provision in Africa.
Pre-investment support is critical to make a deal successful. But what should it look like, and who pays for it? Sumerian Foundation's Chris West shares lessons from his 20 years of supporting social enterprises – plus one lesson from a 1980s pop phenomenon...
Investing for impact, where the primary goal is social impact, looks set to grow far more slowly than demand for such finance – unless we make some major changes. Chris West identifies five opportunities to tackle the mismatch.