Kuching – Five entrepreneurs who were announced winners of the 2018 Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme were awarded a RM15,000 seed grant from Shell Malaysia and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS) Digital Innovation Hub, today. The winners were chosen after going through a series of workshops and a business model assessment competition.
Alongside the seed grant, the winners were provided with mentoring and coaching support from Shell LiveWIRE facilitators for the next three years to assist them in transforming their ideas to full-fledged businesses.
Now in its third year, the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme is in partnership with TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub, which not only provides the venue for the workshops in Kuching, but also an additional RM5,000 to each winner, on top of the RM10,000 contributed by Shell Malaysia.
From an overall participation of almost 100 entrepreneurs who presented their ideas this year, 30 were selected to attend a rigorous ‘Become A Successful Owner Manager’ workshop. Here, they were required to submit their business plans that incorporated a detailed business model and strategy. These business plans went through a stringent assessment which resulted in the selection of the best 10.
The final 10 entrepreneurs then proceeded to a Pitching Workshop & Competition where they pitched their ideas to an independent panel of judges, who selected the five winning ideas.
“I presented the awards to last year’s winning ideas, which I felt were diverse and creative, but this year I am introduced to a new set of innovative ideas that I’ve not heard of before. I’m happy that our Sarawakian entrepreneurs have a platform to unveil new business ideas and garner the support needed, through the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme,” said Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed, Chief Operating Officer of TEGAS.
Awangku Merali represented the Chairman of TEGAS, YB Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, to present the awards to this year’s winners at the Global Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Awards Ceremony, held in Kuching, Sarawak on the 14th of November 2018.
According to Datuk Iain Lo, Country Chairman of Shell Malaysia, the Shell LiveWIRE programme requires participants to undergo rigorous workshops and presentations to ensure that they are not only committed to their business ideas but are also aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
“The programme empowers participants to overcome the challenges they may face in starting their businesses and guides them in coming up with solutions that will ensure the sustainability of their businesses,” he added.
Most of this year’s finalists had altruistic intent at the core of their business, which is to benefit the masses as opposed to just being profitable. For example, one of this year’s winners, Sulie Abell, aims to assist rural farmers in her home village of Simanggang, Sri Aman, by contracting them to grow organic produce to be turned into skincare products under her brand name of Sluvi & Co.
“Even though I’ve participated in other entrepreneurial development programmes before, the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme’s encouragement for social enterprises through the support and mentoring of the facilitators has certainly increased my confidence to deliver my skincare products for the benefit of the farmers in Simanggang. I can’t wait to continue my coaching and see how far I can go in helping these farmers earn additional income,” said Sulie, at the winners’ awards ceremony.
“Beyond just pursuing a business idea, we were taught to keep our business ideas centered around solving common issues as that would ensure the sustainability of our business. I love that the programme didn’t just take our idea at face value; it challenged us to think on the impact it would create and what we will achieve by turning it into a business,” said Mohd Marzwan Abdul Rahman, who intends to introduce lobster farming as a supplementary income for low income earners in Sarawak.
Shell LiveWIRE is an entrepreneurial programme that seeks to unveil potential start-up entrepreneurs in Sabah and Sarawak. It aims to inspire young entrepreneurs to innovate and produce real business solutions that meets today’s socio-economic needs. Some entrepreneurs from this programme have been included into the Shell supply chain, where their products and services have been used in the company’s day-to-day business.
The programme was first introduced in Sarawak in 2016. Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE has seen a total of 230 entrepreneurs who have come into contact with the programme, till date. The total number of recipients of the programme’s seed grant are 15, as of today.
For further information on Shell’s LiveWIRE programmes, log on to www.shell.com