Shell LiveWire, our flagship entrepreneurship development programme, was started as a response to a problem. Youth unemployment was at an all-time high in Scotland in 1982 and we set up liveWire to combat that. 40 years later, we are still helping visionaries in 20 countries attain the skills, knowledge, resources, and networks they need to launch their businesses. In 2022, LiveWire came to the Klang Valley for the first time.

On December 15ᵗʰ 2022, 30 small business owners filed into our office in Cyberjaya, looking curious and expectant. They didn’t have long to wait. After briefly introducing ourselves, we gave them the floor. And what stories they were!

Each of them offering a totally unique value proposition. In listening to the mission statements of each small business, we got a strong sense of the visionaries behind them:

There was manekNya, a supplier of handcrafted Peranakan shoes. The craftswomen who make them all come from marginalised communities.

Sapot offers mental health support, provided by trained counselors who have also struggled with their mental health before.

Beebag gamifies sustainable shopping, providing consumers with bags equipped with “smart” bags that track their positive environmental impact and enable them to collect rewards for it.

If we wrote about all the small businesses present, we’d have to devote an entire book to them instead of a simple blog post. They don’t appear to have anything in common on the surface but one unifying theme was that purpose came over product. The projects themselves, while fascinating, were primarily vehicles for these entrepreneurs to add value to their communities

That is also what they have in common with Shell. In our opening speech to our small businesses, we pointed out both Shell and our small business customers share goals, as well as pain points. We both want to add value and increase efficiency, but we’re both impacted by the growing energy demand driven by overpopulation and by the abrupt rise of digitalisation.

Because we intimately understand the customer’s goals and challenges, we were able to create two major Fleet Solutions products tailormade to the needs of the business owner:

  1. Shell Fleet App: An app that helps small to medium enterprises manage their fleets and reduce their paperwork
  2. Accelerate2Zero: Our bespoke programme that helps businesses decarbonise strategically.

The emphasis was less on the products themselves and more on what they could do for everyone sitting in the room. The SME owners all asked questions about the products, especially the App.

In between workshops, we approached some of the small business owners gathered there today.

We love a great storyteller and that’s exactly what Mimi Salleh is. The founder of Swaterbit Kids Book (SKB) focuses on works that promote pride in Malaysian heritage among our children. She told us she wanted to give children an alternative to the blond, blue-eyed characters they see everywhere in books and films, just so they had a chance to envision themselves as the protagonist, for once. The subject matter they deal with is equally deep. She and her team of writers tackle weighty subjects and their books are written mainly as a form of bibliotheraphy.

Nazrin Aneeza, one of her writers, has released a book teaching children on interpersonal relationships and managing anger. In fact, two of SKB’s writers have made it to 50 Best Malaysia Titles 2021/2022 - one on managing grief of losing loved ones and another on consensual and non-consensual touch.

You don’t have to be under 10 to appreciate SKB’s profound themes. One of our staff recognised Mimi Salleh straightaway and revealed that she was a big fan. We couldn’t resist the photo op after that.

Robest Young dubs himself an innopreneur, a synthesis of inventor and businessman. With creations as diverse as an instant rubber stamp machine and mosquito glue on his CV, Robest now applies his talents to creating simple pump-operated filters that Orang Asli families can use to clean dirty water. He showed us several videos of the hardships the Orang Asli have to face, traveling miles on foot to access public water tanks that stop functioning within a month. His pumps are built with longevity in mind and have improved lives across Malaysia, Bangladesh, Laos, and many more countries within the region.

Just watching the videos was eye-opening. We were awed by how efficiently the pump, which is operated by foot, turned greyish run-off with bugs floating in it to potable drinking water.

While Klang Valley’s first Shell liveWire was our way of giving back to the SME community, it was above all a bonding experience. We learned how diverse and rich the world of SMEs is, and how inspiring its characters. We feel incredibly privileged to play even a small part in their vision.

As it turns out, manekNya, Beebag, and Enertech were among the five winners of the programme.

To this day, Shell continues to help small businesses through programmes like Livewire, bespoke guidance via Accelerate2Zero, and our product, Shell Fleet App. To find out which option may be right for you, do reach out to us at