“I see each unknown tomorrow as an opportunity. We waste time being afraid, when what we should really fear is wasting time.”

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH



Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley CH is an ardent venture philanthropist with an unrelenting energy for creating positive change. She arrived in England as an unaccompanied child refugee at the start of the Second World War, and in 1962 started a software business from her dining table which grew to employ 8,500 people and was ultimately valued at almost $3 billion.

Motivated to share the rewards of her success with a society that had extended such generosity to her as a child, Dame Stephanie decided to give away her wealth. Now in her late 80s she is driven by a lifetime of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and still dedicates every day to making her life one that was worth saving.

Dame Stephanie’s story





Letters from Steve

Every month you’ll receive an inspiring email letter from Dame Stephanie, or Steve as she’s known, keeping you up to date with what is going on in her world. We’ll also include inside information on her events, projects, interviews and much more.

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An exceptional inspirational speaker


Dame Stephanie is an engaging speaker and interviewee who inspires audiences with her fascinating stories and insights. She talks candidly on personal subjects including her early years as a child refugee, her experiences blazing a trail for women in business and her ongoing commitment to helping autistic people live long, happy and more fulfilling lives.

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“If I have a talent, it is the ability to believe in what others can achieve.”







View our wide collection of speeches, interviews, articles, books and podcasts featuring Dame Stephanie.

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Venture Philanthropy


Over the course of the last thirty years Dame Stephanie has given away almost £70 million to good causes, primarily in the fields of autism and IT. She invests strategically in projects that will benefit from her time or insight as well as her money, to maximise the positive outcomes.

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Read Dame Stephanie’s full story in her acclaimed memoir, Let It Go, or enjoy a collection of her speeches in her newest publication, So to Speak.

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