Two Nigerian entrepreneurs have been shortlisted among 21 finalists for the Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Awards, a global competition which highlights and rewards businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation as well as giving entrepreneurs a chance to shine on a global platform.
The businesses are, FarmToJuice and Foods Nig. Ltd which produces juices, processing any waste into livestock feed and using a biogas digester to provide energy; and Basiled Energy Ventures, a business that provides solar lamps, solar installation maintenance and repair, and solar battery recycling services.
“The two Nigerians have come up with creative ideas on energy efficiency, food and agriculture and join19 entrepreneurs from other countries to vie for the prestigious prize,” said the Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor.
A public vote of the shortlisted businesses takes place September 9 – 18, 2019 on the Shell LiveWIRE website, with the results helping to determine the winners.
“We are happy that young Nigerians keep deploying the skills and funding assistance in our LiveWIRE training schemes. Last year, two Nigerian companies were among the Top Ten Innovators from among 21 entries in a contest which attracted over 11,000 voters from 102 countries. We hope to come out successful again this year,” said Igo Weli, SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations.
LiveWIRE is Shell’s flagship youth enterprise development programme that provides training and finance to young people to start or expand their own businesses. Launched in Nigeria in 2003, the programme enables young entrepreneurs to convert their bright ideas into sustainable businesses creating wider employment and income generation opportunities. “LiveWIRE ambassadors have benefitted from this support to make their mark and we call on Nigerians to encourage them by voting for their ideas,” Weli added.
Winners and two runners up will be named in the categories of Food & Agriculture, Energy & Mobility, and Sustainable Future, with the winners receiving $20,000 USD and runners up receiving $10,000 USD. In addition, Shell LiveWIRE will name an Outstanding Achievement Award winner who will receive $10,000 USD. All Top Ten Innovators will win direct mentoring from Shell staff and the opportunity to integrate and benefit from vast linkages within Shell’s global network.
Executive Vice President of Shell Global Commercial Huibert Vigeveno said, “We’re inspired to see these 21 finalists from around the world whose businesses work towards providing circular solutions that help to achieve zero waste. Transitioning to a circular economy can help protect the environment and deliver positive change to society. Working with innovators like these esteemed finalists, will allow businesses, communities and society to move faster towards achieving these goals.”
Since its introduction in Nigeria in 2003, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817.