Shona McDonald

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 01

Shona McDonald
Founder & Director
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Cape Town

I hold the Compass of Shonaquip, Uhambo, The Empowerment through Enterprise Trust and The Champions for Change Trusts. Our high impact multi-entity hybrid social enterprise designs innovative mobility devices for children, manufactures equipment, provides clinical support services, training and skills programmes across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

My life’s work and the company’s origin was inspired by my daughter, Shelly, who was born with cerebral palsy. Our family experienced first-hand how difficult it was to find appropriate equipment and support. When I, designed the first South African pediatric posture support wheelchair in 1984 I understood that wheelchairs were about far more than just transport, more than just ensuring that children did not develop secondary life-threatening complications. Wheelchairs are about independence, dignity, quality of life, access to school and social inclusion. Appropriately designed, fitted and clinically support devices allow children to attend school, play, build relationships, work and enjoy their most basic human rights.

Invited to contribute to the development of the WHO Guidelines on Appropriate Wheelchair Provision in Under Resourced Regions I am also honoured to be a Resna Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, Schwab Fellow and Endeavor Entrepreneur.

I continue to find ways to use business for good, to play an exciting and challenging role in changing the landscape for children with mobility disabilities and their families across this region shifting disability from the history of pity and poverty to one of liberation and social inclusion.


I was nominated to become a THNKer by Eduard Burer