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Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria awards start up grants to 50 young entrepreneurs

Group shot with cheque

Fifty young entrepreneurs from Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States have each been awarded funding of N300,000 (US $1,800) by Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria to enable them to start up, or grow, their own businesses. The grants were presented at a special Shell LiveWIRE awards ceremony in Port Harcourt by Bolarinwa Onaolapo, Sustainable Development Manager, Shell Nigeria.

Over 1,000 young graduates applied for the Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria enterprise training programme this year, and following a rigorous selection process 300 candidates participated in an intensive enterprise training programme which enabled them to gain the essential skills required to start and grow a successful business. From these trainees, 50 of the most outstanding business proposals were selected to receive the Shell LiveWIRE grant funding to turn their business idea into a business reality.

In addition, six outstanding entrepreneurs who took part in the 2012 Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria programme each received N200,000 (US $1,200) in recognition of the growth their businesses had achieved over the past year. This latest funding brings Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria’s financial backing for these businesses up to N500,000 (US $3,100) each.

Programme partner, the United Bank for Africa, which delivered a session on small business financing during the Shell LiveWIRE enterprise training programme, will also provide free financial and business advice services to the young entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the presentation, Bolarinwa Onaolapo of Shell Nigeria said, “The knowledge gained through the Shell LiveWIRE programme in Nigeria has helped young entrepreneurs apply new approaches to the day to day running of their businesses. For example, knowing how to evaluate their businesses is enabling them to determine the rate at which their business is growing and if they are making a profit, which is what these young entrepreneurs need to expand and create more employment opportunities for others.”

One of the entrepreneurs rewarded for the growth of his business is Ipalibo Caleb Jim-George who runs a catering services company that has grown from a one person operation to employing 10 staff in two outlets. Highlighting the impact that Shell LiveWIRE has had on his business, Ipalibo said, “I want to thank Shell and the joint venture partners for this funding programme. Thanks to Shell LiveWIRE I have been able to expand my business and achieve my objective of creating more employment.”

Multimedia entrepreneur, Foitengbegha William Wisdom, who employs two staff and two apprentices, is also grateful for the growth opportunities which Shell LiveWIRE funding presents, saying, “The Shell LiveWIRE funding will allow me to grow my business on an international level, thereby creating more employment opportunities for young people in the Niger Delta.”

Since its inception in 2003, Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria has provided 2,748 young people with funding to start and grow their businesses.


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