KUCHING: Whilst only in its second year, the Shell Malaysia LiveWIRE programme in Sarawak continues to grow the local youth entrepreneur scene by providing start-up grants to five Sarawakian entrepreneurs.
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 TEGAS chairman Datu Len Talif Salleh.
Len Talif was represented by TEGAS chief operating officer Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed, 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 and Procurement manager, Commercial Excellence of Sarawak Shell Bhd, Ayisha Arshad, Social Performance manager of 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 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 creatingmore employment and business opportunities in Sarawak, together with like-minded partner organisations such as TEGAS,” shared Arshad.
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 five recipients of the seed grant from Sarawak are Imelda Bragie (Kota Samarahan), Haaziq Ibrahim (Miri), Caroline Imang (Miri), Jason Chieng Lee Wee (Miri) and Amir Mohamed (Miri).