This year, the winning entrepreneurs walk away with grants worth RM15,000 each; an increase of RM5,000 over last year’s winners, contributed by the LiveWIRE programme’s esteemed partner in Sarawak, Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS). In addition to the start-up grant, the winners also earn a three-year mentorship and coaching deal with Shell Malaysia LiveWIRE to help them navigate the common pitfalls faced by new businesses.
“TEGAS is proud to be a partner with Shell in the LiveWIRE programme, that not only recognises young entrepreneurs for their ability and drive to start their own businesses, it also equips them with tools and knowledge that will help these entrepreneurs grow their commercial viability to reach a global market”, said YB Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, Chairman of TEGAS. YB Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh was represented by Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed, Chief Operating Officer of TEGAS, who was on hand to present the awards to the winners.
As an addition to previous instalments of the programme, this year’s Shell Malaysia LiveWIRE shortlisted the top ten entrepreneurs across Sarawak against each other through a business pitching competition.
Previously, participants attend business modelling and canvassing workshops to develop, present, and improve on their business ideas. After which, they would submit their refined business plans to a selection committee whom will assess the business plans based on originality and sustainability of the idea. This time, participants were required to actively pitch to a panel of judges that consist of Octavia Mohamad, Contracting & Procurement Manager, Commercial Excellence, Sarawak Shell Berhad, Ayisha Arshad, Social Performance Manager, Shell Malaysia Limited, and Andrew Wong of MAD Incubator.
All judges brought their perspectives on business and project management, based on experiences in their respective areas of responsibilities and the industry they represent. Collectively, they aim to impart knowledge on the current market forces to help equip the entrepreneurs to be able to succeed in their respective businesses.
One of the more highly successful Shell LiveWIRE participants hailing from Sarawak is Zaid Iskandar bin Jaraiee of Sutra Design. Being a winner of the 2016 Shell LiveWIRE programme, the initial seed grant of RM10,000.00 was used to upgrade his current shopfront in Miri to support his clientele better. Since then, under the tutelage of Shell LiveWIRE facilitators, Zaid has grown his t-shirt printing business to meet the needs of Sarawak Shell Berhad and other local enterprises in Miri.
“This year’s entrepreneurs came equipped with amazing ideas in the healthcare, food and beverage, and even digital industries. It truly reflects the potential that Sarawakian youths can bring to help grow the Sarawak economy. It really is a point of pride for Shell Malaysia to be able to contribute to creating more employment and business opportunities in Sarawak, together with like-minded partner organisations such as TEGAS”, shared Ayisha Arshad, Social Performance Manager for Shell Malaysia Limited, who also served as one of the judges.
Shell LiveWIRE is an entrepreneurial programme that seeks to uncover business start-up potential in Sabah and Sarawak, supporting and inspiring young entrepreneurs to innovate and provide real business solutions that meets today’s socio-economic needs.
The programme was first introduced in Sarawak in 2016. Since then, a total of 136 participants between the ages of 18 to 35 have participated in the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme. The winners of the 2017 Shell LiveWIRE programme bring the total number of Sarawakian winners to 10, who have received the seed grant and will continue to enjoy the benefits of learning from our experienced facilitators.
“The Shell LiveWIRE programme has really changed the way I look at myself as a business owner and it has opened my eyes to see beyond even my own expectations for my business. I am thankful to the LiveWIRE programme and Shell, who are helping me not just realise my dream, but to support me in growing it to be bigger,” said Caroline Imang of Sarawak Mama Craft, when she learned of her win.
“Participating in this programme was not easy at first and there were many things I had to relearn. But when I considered the amount of effort the programme and its facilitators were putting into it, I knew this was a support system I could rely on to see my business grow. Even by spending time with my fellow entrepreneurs in the programme, I got to see an alternative perspective which really helped me in developing my business plans. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the LiveWIRE programme,” said Haaziq Ibrahim of Ai Brique Engineering and Consultancy after being announced as a winner.