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Founded on 23 June 2009, the Foundation was publicly launched on 2 September 2010 by Dame Ellen MacArthur at the Science Museum (London), with the support of a group of 'Founding Partners', B&Q, BT Group, Cisco, National Grid plc and Renault. The charity was inspired by MacArthur's sailing experiences and she put GBP 500,000 of her own money into the project. Another GBP 6 mil was raised by the five founding partners.
On 17 May 2017, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in conjunction with the Charles, Prince of Wales, launched a USD 2 million prize fund for innovations which work towards the management of waste plastics.
==Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE)==
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a founding member and knowledge partner of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), which is a public-private collaboration platform and project accelerator launched out of the World Economic Forum focusing on the circular economy.
*[http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org Official Website of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation]
*[http://www.chalecommunityproject.com/ Official Website of the Chale Community Project]
*[https://web.archive.org/web/20130110100128/http://www.thecirculareconomy.org/ Official Website of Towards the Circular Economy]