KUCHING: Sarawakians Haaziq Ibrahim and Jeff Wee will represent the country during Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Event 2018, which is being held in Kuching today for the first time.
Shell LiveWIRE is the global flagship enterprise development programme of Shell, with the vision to strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and meaningful employment. It enables young people around the world to start up and run viable businesses.
The Top Ten Innovators is a worldwide competition open to the alumni of Shell LiveWIRE and its affiliated programmes, New Energy Challenge and #IdeaRefinery.
This event coincides with this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week.
This year, two Sarawakian entrepreneurs have made it to the Top Ten Innovators list for 2018 alongside winners from USA, Brazil, Nigeria, UK and Indonesia.
They will be awarded at this event for being Top 10 and will compete with the rest to win the top 3 category winners awards which are Energy Solutions, Retail Supply Chain and Social Enterprises.
Localised sustainable solutions benefit Sarawak
Haaziq is the winner of the 2017 edition of Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE with his passion for sustainability and supporting the development of underserved communities.
A Miri-bred lad, his engineering consultancy has delivered multiple projects with the focus on retro-fitting systems for increased energy and cost efficiencies for various industries.
Haaziq is currently partnered with Shell Malaysia to innovate the manufacturing process for a fishing tool, with the aim of encouraging local Sarawakian fishermen to fish ethically and sustainably.
His company, Ai Brique Engineering gathers and develops local students, graduates and talents, teaming up with local start-ups, product developers and sustainable technologies to consult and manage business clients’ operational projects.
This is done with an aim to increase their efficiencies in project delivery challenges, energy efficiency and operational efficiency management.
“Ai Brique had successfully granted a sustainable development grant from Shell Malaysia to free lease 20 items of net-harvesting tool for the local artisanal fishermen in Miri, by ensuring that these artisanal fishermen would end over-fishing, using destructive fishing methods and oil and gas platform encroachment,” he told The Borneo Post earlier this week.
“We begin to discover new possibilities to help increase the qualities of artisanal fishermen livelihood. We aim to unite artisanal fishermen together through engineering practises and developments, providing them with tools to decrease their effort to fish, while educating them about the importance of sustainability and technologies, with students and local communities to engage together.
“We are also developing milestones to come up with methods to increase the quality of their harvest and introduce them to a new market via online platforms, where the students or graduates could develop on-ground experience to connect online and electronic systems to the fishermen.”
Innovative measures towards sustainable waste management
Wee, meanwhile, is the winner of the inaugural edition of the programme with his WormingUp sustainable waste management pitch. Wee and his team work on disposing organis waste by natural decomposition by worms.
“Composting is a common practice to recycle organic waste to avoid landfilling. Nevertheless, the drawbacks are consuming large area of land and months to produce stable fertiliser product,” he explained.
“Furthermore, conventional composting such as using probiotics/earthworm can only degrade vegetable-based waste. There are still lots of nutrients wasted and should be upcycling back into the circular loop.
“Instead of conventional composting, we run insect farms. An insect rearing system was developed to culture Black Soldier Fly, a kind of beneficial insect which can degrade lots of organic waste.
“These includes municipal waste (food waste from household, restaurants and hotels), and farm waste (animal manure, agricultural waste, fish offal and so on).
“We feed the maggots with organic waste and later harvest their bodies as nutritious animal feed and their frass as organic fertiliser.
“Through this method, we meet our customer’s needs of sustainable organic waste disposal at a rate that is almost 30 times faster than conventional composting methods.”
Since embarking on this journey, Wee and his team have branched out to provide holistic waste management services to various agencies in Kuching, which includes recycling awareness iniatives and sustainable waste management.
Wee also now pilots the opportunity to conduct recycling collection activities at Shell Retail sites in Kuching.
Started in 2016, the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme engages with entrepreneurs who are committed to starting and growing their business ideas.
The programme takes entrepreneurs through a series of workshops that will assist them in generating or enhancing their business ideas, testing their business models and preparing them to be successful business owners.
Towards the end of the programme, participants will partake in a pitching workshop and a competition that aim to provide the necessary skills for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
In 2017, the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme partnered with the TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub, who not only provided the facilities and guidance to run this programme, but also presented each winner with an additional RM5,000, on top of the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE grant.
At the prestigious event, an international expert judging panel led by Joerg Wienke, Shell VP Retail Marketing, will select the overall category winners across the categories of Energy Solutions, Retail Supply Chain and Social Enterprises. There will also be a special keynote from Alan Cheah, CEO of GoCar, who will address sustainability and sharing economy.
Five national winners from the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE Malaysia programme, which has been providing entrepreneurship training to young people in Sarawak and Sabah since 2015, will also be unveiled.