Meet the Community

Shona Mcdonald

“I design & manufacture products & delivery systems that influence & strengthen inclusive ecosystems.”

Founder of ShonaquipSE Africa’s only ISO 13485 certified wheelchair manufacturer and South Africa’s first Hybrid Social Enterprise with the collective belief that with an appropriate assistive device, knowledge to make informed choices and, agency to action them, the family of a child with a disability will never need to experience their child as less valued.

She is also a Founding Director of the Western Cape Medical Devices Cluster, a provincial initiative established to support and promote and development of the local medical devices industry. She has been recently nominated to the Boards of International Society Wheelchair Professionals and SANCRC the South African National Childs Rights Coalition.

Her life’s work, and the company’s origin was inspired by her daughter, Shelly, who was born with cerebral palsy. Her family experienced first-hand how difficult it was to find appropriate assistive devices. When Shona, together with the Biomedical Engineering Department at UCT designed the first South African pediatric posture support wheelchair in 1984 she understood that wheelchairs were about more than transport, more than ensuring that children did not develop secondary (often life threatening) complications, wheelchairs were about independence, dignity, access to school and inclusion. Appropriate assistive devices allow people to live their human rights.

She took part in the Schwab Foundation’s Executive Education module on Leadership for System Change: Deliver Social Impact at Scale, at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Business School in 2017 She holds Schwab, Ashoka, Paul Harris and RESNA Fellowships.