A dinner funding micro-grants for creative projects in Shanghai

About Us


Shanghai SOUP was established in Autumn 2016 by Matthew Hollas and David Wellstead, two Englishmen living and working in the city, with backgrounds in education, business and environmental science.

Shanghai's diverse and cosmopolitan communities offer many modern and innovative projects and partnerships, and we see this as a fun, productive and democratic way for people to engage with them; we hope you will join the dinners and support our endeavour!

The Events

The project is based off the hugely successful Detroit Soup model and was founded with the aim of creating a fun and entertaining networking event which positively impacts the wider community through microfunding. See 'How It Works' for more details.

The dinners are held on a bi-monthly basis at various locations in central Shanghai and we hope to have our 2017 calendar available very soon.

The Soup

The soup served at each event is sourced from local suppliers and restaurants, utilising food that would otherwise be thrown away due to overstocking or cosmetic damage. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.1 In China, Liu, J. et al. (2013) suggest that 26 million hectares of land are used to grow crops which end up wasted every year, 'the equivalent to the total arable land of Mexico'.2 We feel such waste is unacceptable and hope to promote awareness and further details of what we as consumers can do to reduce our food waste at the events.


WeVenues: What's on in Shanghai (Chinese)

Global Times- 'Unique crowd-sourcing campaign combines micro-financing and food'  (Download PDF)

Limitless Laowai podcast ep. 330 - 'Shanghai Soup: How it all works'

Limitless Laowai podcast ep. 327 - 'Shanghai Soup: Micro-financing your dreams'

BBC - 'Can Soup change the World?' (March 2015)

GOOD – 'Five Bucks Well Spent: Soup, Salad, and Support for Creative Social Change' (April 2013)

Idealist: Idea File – 'Pitch your idea at a "Sunday Soup" potluck' (April 2012)

1.  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

2.  Liu, J. et al. (2013) Food losses and waste in China and their implication for water and land. Environmental Science & Technology

Matthew Hollas

David Wellstead