As LiveWIRE winners, each entrepreneur will receive RM10,000 from Sarawak Shell Berhad and an additional RM5,000 courtesy of TEGAS. As part of their winners’ package, they receive a year’s period of co-working space from the SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub and the opportunity to enter the Shell Malaysia value chain.
“This year’s entrepreneurs really made it challenging to determine who the winners would be, even from the start of this year’s programme. The ideas that have come through the programme this year really demonstrate the maturity and the societal problems that Sarawak’s entrepreneurs aim to solve with their startups. I’m glad that the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme is equipping our local entrepreneurs with the skills they need to affect change and that the programme affords them the opportunity to grow their businesses by potentially entering the Shell Malaysia value chain,” shares Dr. Khairul Hafiz Bin Sharkawi, Head of Research & Development, Sarawak Multimedia Authority.
Dr Khairul Hafiz was joined by Nini Daing, co- founder and CEO, myHarapan, Youth Trust Foundation Malaysia and Yip Yoke Hwa, Senior Contracting & Procurement Manager of Sarawak Shell Berhad, on the judging panel who had the task of selecting the top five winners out of ten finalists. As a finalist, these entrepreneurs were invited to participate in a pitching workshop before pitching their ideas to the judges to determine who emerges as winners of the 2019 Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme. Also present at the event was Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed, Chief Operating Officer of TEGAS.
A total of 96 entrepreneurs had participated in the 2019 Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme, beginning their journey with the Bright Ideas workshop in Kuching, Miri, and Bintulu. The top 30 entrepreneurs were invited to participate in the Become a Successful Owner Manager where they learned the necessary skills to grow their ideas into businesses.
This year, the programme featured multiple sessions specifically held to introduce the processes of entering the energy industry to the top 30 entrepreneurs. This included registration processes and the importance of occupational health and safety standards in the energy industry. This was conducted to ensure that the entrepreneurs feel confident enough to be a part of the Shell Malaysia value chain.
“This year, the LiveWIRE programme is focused on not only providing the skills to empower our local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, as ’ve taken it a step further to instil the confidence within these entrepreneurs to participate as vendors to the energy industry. In this way, we hope to be able to provide a supportive ecosystem that will enable the startups to contribute to Malaysia’s growing energy industry,” said Jill Chieng, General Manager of Sarawak Shell Berhad.
Jill also added that as part of Shell Malaysia’s commitment to developing local capabilities to participate in the energy industry, the Upstream Contracting & Procurement team have been revising its contracting strategies to ensure opportunities would be made available to potential LiveWIRE winners.
One of last year’s winners, Jason Foong of Uncle Green, grows pesticide free and hydroponically grown lettuce in Miri, currently has his produce sold in the Shell Miri office and is exploring other opportunities to contribute to the Shell Malaysia value chain.
“The experience me and my team have gained via the LiveWIRE programme has been great in developing our business. Beyond the mentoring and coaching that has been priceless for our business’s strategy and direction, the programme has also opened new marketing channels such as the shop in the Shell Miri office. Through this experience we get to understand the concepts of doing sales on a consignment basis and negotiate what is best for both our business and our distributors,” shares Jason.
This year’s finalists have businesses that range from augmented reality services applicable for the energy industry to improving literacy rates amongst Sarawakians. Where relevant these businesses will be further developed for the opportunity to enter the Shell Malaysia value chain, much like the winners from the previous instalments of the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme.
“I’ve gained so much through the LiveWIRE programme and now that I’ve won, I’m really looking forward to the support from the facilitators of the LiveWIRE programme to propel my business idea further to add value to Sarawak’s economy. I can’t wait for the next steps that my business will take through the Post Startup Support phase to grow my business,” shared shared Steven Wee Ee Ming of Ombak DevHouse, creator of a device called Cameroo that improves road and vehicle safety for car manufacturers using a smart safety dashcam system.
“The facilitators made it simple to understand the key things we needed to know to expand our business. It essentially gave us a fast track to navigate some of the problems that could potentially challenge our expansion in the future. Not only has the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme given us the skills we need to operate our business, it’s also instilled the confidence in us that with this support, we will be able to realise our business’s goals and objectives,” said shared Syarifah Nurfaizah Wan Manshor of Ahmad Tamar Sdn Bhd that provides healthy products from dates, which is a solution for superfood-on-the go for supermoms.
Since starting in 2016, the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme has seen a total of 326 participants come through the programme and 20 entrepreneurs receiving startup grants as of today.
For further information on Shell’s LiveWIRE programmes, log on to www.shell.com.my