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Latest News / LiveWIREs develop new business opportunities through our Let’s Go Trade initiative

 

More young LiveWIRE entrepreneurs have successfully undertaken international trade visits that will potentially open up new markets and accelerate innovation within their businesses, thanks to the Shell LiveWIRE Let's Go Trade (LGT) programme.LGT is aimed at those who have been in business for between 18 months and five years, who would like to undertake an international visit to investigate new markets and ways to innovate in their business – in order to become more sustainable, increase their turnover and the number of jobs they create.


LGT funding, totalling up to US $57.9k, has been awarded to 22 businesses from eight Shell LiveWIRE countries, namely: Brazil, Brunei, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Netherlands, Pakistan, and the UK. The successful applicants to date include businesses involved in sectors ranging from renewable energy to natural cosmetics, and medical training to e-health.

The LGT grants cover 50% of the costs of travel and accommodation, up to a maximum of US $3,000 per participant.


The UK is the most popular destination selected by participants, closely followed by the US. Other visit destinations include, China, Italy, the Middle East, France, Mexico, Canada, India and Sweden.


All of the entrepreneurs have an ambition to trade internationally and have identified a gap in their business sector which can be addressed through innovation within the business. The gaps defined by the entrepreneurs include, for example: a product that isn't available in their country; the delivery of a new, or added value, service in their sector; a business model that isn't in use in their country; a unique delivery channel; or, a unique method of engaging with their clients on some aspect of their service.


Specific reasons identified by participants for undertaking their LGT visits range from implementing the latest production technology to improving production efficiency and conducting market research to establishing regional distribution networks.


Among the entrepreneurs to have completed their LGT visits is technology entrepreneur Erica Castilho from Brazil, whose company, Web Moment specialises in digital marketing and web development. Erica chose to visit London to explore the potential for internationalising her marketplace builder product, N2N Virtual, which provides a platform to connect SMEs with customers and potential collaborators.

During her visit, Erica attended London Tech Week and a series of business events organised by United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI). As a result, Erica was able to benchmark her business against other similar IT companies and to meet potential partners and competitors. She also visited incubator workspace facilities, with a view to opening a new international office.


Looking for opportunities to innovate within her business in order to facilitate international expansion, Erica also investigated online payment platforms and selected PayPal as the best solution for her business.


Commenting on the impact of her Let's Go Trade visit, Erica said, "The visit has been a game changing experience! It has enabled us to investigate new technologies that will allow us to reach new markets around the world, and we have validated our business model in Europe.


"The visit to London will help us scale up and improve our productivity and competitiveness through process reforms. Now we plan to expand the business around the world!”


Over the next five years, Erica expects to achieve 40% of sales from international customers and to establish affiliated companies in Europe, Latin America and the US.


Erica concludes by saying, "Without our Let's Go Trade visit we would definitely not now be on the threshold of expanding the business internationally.”
Anita Yuli from Indonesia used her LGT grant to travel to the UK to investigate innovations that would enhance her fashion label for breastfeeding mothers.
Explaining the outcome of her visit, Anita said, "The LGT experience was awesome! It has enabled me to prioritise R&D to improve and grow my business. Innovations I have already implemented have led to a 10% increase in earnings, and I am also introducing a new online store.”


Leonardo Martins from Brazil chose to visit India in order to establish a strategic partnership that would enable his fledgling photographic image bank business, Oliandro Imagens do Brasil, to compete on an international level.


Commenting on the result of his visit, Leonardo said, "My LGT visit to India has enabled me to outsource some operations which will reduce my costs by up to 85%. This will lead to accelerated growth and enhance my ability to compete with any image bank in the world.”


24 year old Iffah Billah Hj Junaidi, Director of RAB Global Green Sdn Bhd, B.F.B Agrotechnology Company and Tropica Solar Photovoltaic Company chose Xiamen, China and Taiwan as her visit destination because she wanted to gain a better understanding of how she could incorporate a fully integrated production line into the first 'green' pilot factory currently under construction in Brunei.


"They're quite innovative when it comes to machinery and systems,” said Iffah, who added, "Everything there complies with ISO standards that are current and relevant to my business sector.”

Throughout the trip Iffah took every opportunity to experience and learn every aspect of the production, manufacturing process, R&D, advertising and marketing of her business, from bio-degradable and environmentally-friendly fire extinguishers to a self-sustaining Aquaponics eco-system and energy-efficient solar PV modules.


"With the realization of our company's vision to reduce the carbon footprint and take solar-powered technology to new heights in Brunei, we aim for Brunei to become the first 'Solar City' in the foreseeable future.”


Lucas Jonis, from Brazil, whose company NeoVision, focuses on the application of technology in energy, used his LGT funding to visit Italy and the Czech Republic, in order to explore opportunities around the generation of electricity from animal and vegetable waste. Commenting on the impact of his visit, Lucas said, "The visit enabled me to secure an international trade agreement. It's a milestone in the company's history, enabling access to information and key partnerships to achieve our plans.”


Mercy Ikeji from Nigeria who runs an interior design and cleaning services company called Dezionite General & Interior Services Ltd, used her LGT award to visit Dubai in order to source more cost-effective suppliers and to research trends in the interior design and commercial cleaning sectors.


During her trip, Mercy visited the Dubai franchise of one of the world's largest professional home cleaning services companies. As a result of her visit, Mercy introduced wireless security cameras within her domestic cleaning operations. This has proved to be an extremely popular move with her existing clients and has led to an increase in new business.


Fàbio Marçal da Fonseca from Brazil, used his LGT grant to visit a number of European cities, including Barcelona, Lisbon and Edinburgh to give his proofreading and translations business, Scribere, a competitive edge.


In addition to meeting companies and linguists to expand his professional networks, Fàbio also achieved industry accreditation which has enabled Scribere to become the only accredited language coaching company in Brazil.


Speaking about the impact on his business, Fàbio said, "The Let's Go Trade experience has provided me with a network, future partnerships, knowledge, cultural exchange and certification to innovate as a professional in my country with a worldwide credibility.”


Karen Bellis of the Shell LiveWIRE International team at PNE Group said, "The case studies we have received so far from those LiveWIREs who have completed their LGT visits have been very encouraging, with many of them developing potentially game changing opportunities that will significantly strengthen their market position and employment creation possibilities.”




 

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