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ENTREPRENEURS: Shell LiveWire Entrepreneurs to Graduate


Recent Western Cape Business News

The first group of five young entrepreneurs to have benefitted from the LiveWire enterprise development programme launched by Shell in 2014, will be presented with certificates of completion at a special graduation ceremony. Part of the celebration will be the identification of two innovative new start-ups that could become part of Shell's supply chain.
Shell LiveWire entrepreneurs to graduateOn 16 October, 2014, Shell launched the revised LiveWire programme in South Africa. The programme provides four phases of support to enable young and aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their enterprising ideas into viable businesses.

From the 600 initial applications received, 50 budding entrepreneurs were selected to attend the first phase of the programme, a two-day Bright Ideas Workshop. Here, participants were given the opportunity to test and refine their business ideas, and received valuable insight into the top-five business opportunities within Shell's value chain. At the end of the workshop, each entrepreneur pitched his business idea to a panel of experts, and 20 were chosen to progress to the next stage of the programme; which was a five-day, intensive training programme designed to equip the entrepreneurs with key business skills, including: marketing, finance, business planning, human resources, and personal development. At the end of this training, 10 candidates were then selected to attend the next stage, the Business Think Workshop.

Bonang Mohale, Chairman of Shell South Africa Refining, said: "We are pleased with how the Shell LiveWire programme has been delivered. The five participants that have gone on to become entrepreneurs over the past seven months make us all very proud of the impact the programme is having. We are proud to have been able to put together a programme that addresses the issue of youth unemployment and contribute to the National Development Plan 2030's aim to create an economy that will create more jobs by growing small and medium firms."

Business support

Shell's programme implementing partner and service provider, Raizcorp, was responsible for compiling the learning material used during the workshops. Raizcorp provides business support for enthusiastic, growth-hungry entrepreneurs, offering them a platform that fosters learning and guidance, which can be translated into practical business success.

Three of the five start-ups have successfully completed phase one of the programme and have developed viable business models.

They are:
Patrick Mositsa, eZak Mobi - This business has developed an accounting and stock management app for small businesses;
Kyle van Wyk, PMCA - This business is a medical claims resolution company; and
Ephraim Moatshe, Emcon Engineering - This business provides welding services, and supplies specialist pumps to the mining industry.

Two of the five businesses to have successfully completed the programme and commence operations are:
Michael Masinga, Studio Thinkers - This business is a strategic digital branding consultancy, which assists clients with product branding, business branding, and market positioning. Even though the business has just started trading, it has already secured clients in South Africa as well as abroad, who were attracted by the company's ability to incorporate free-hand art into their designs; and
Lloyd Babedi, Barkzz World - This business focuses on increasing awareness about people living with disabilities. The business does this in three main ways: motivational speaking at corporate events; providing DJ services at events; and, retail of branded clothing.

Shell identified Studio Thinkers and Barkzz World as both having the potential to become two of its suppliers. Shell has already commissioned Barkzz World to provide motivational speaking services at a Shell Contracting and Procurement (C and P) conference later this quarter, and has provided Studio Thinkers with connections to an exhibition to enable them to expand their markets. Both of these businesses will also be enrolled on Shell's Supply Support Programme, which is designed to move businesses up the value chain, from supplying low capital products to higher capital services of greater strategic importance. The aim is to increase the value of contracts that suppliers have with Shell and other customers. The businesses will also be taken through the Shell supplier criteria to enable them to be fully registered Shell vendors.

Each of the five businesses will now benefit from a three-year programme of post start-up support, and have been assessed to determine where there are gaps in their strategies so that a business guide can work with them to close these gaps. The businesses will also benefit from business incubation support, including access to ICT and back office facilities at Raizcorp.

"The Shell LiveWire programme is a remarkable example of a programme that has been well thought-through and carefully designed," said Allon Raiz, CEO of Raizcorp. "South Africa needs more of this type of integrated thinking. The entrepreneurs that are selected to join and complete the LiveWire programme are given a real opportunity to scale their businesses and become meaningful parts of Shell's supply chain. It is refreshing to see a large corporate so authentically passionate about diversifying its supply chain and developing young entrepreneurs."

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