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The Shell LiveWIRE Malaysia pilot programme has successfully enabled several budding young entrepreneurs to turn their business dreams into reality.

Launched in August 2015, the pilot programme was delivered in Sabah, a state in Malaysia where Shell has key offshore operations, and was targeted at two distinct groups.

The first of these was the fishing community on Mantanani Island, and the other involved young people in Kota Kinabalu (city of Sabah). Two LiveWIRE Bright Ideas (BI) enterprise awareness workshops were delivered on Mantanani Island and at Kota Kinabalu. Both workshops generated considerable interest, and demand for places far exceeded those available.

A total of 60 young people attended the BI one day workshops, which enabled them to consider and develop the types of business ideas that could be viable.

Of these, 30 participants who developed sound business ideas during the day were invited to attend a Become a Successful Owner Manager (BSOM) enterprise development programme in Kota Kinabalu in October 2015. This enabled participants to develop the key skills required to research their business model and develop a viable business plan.

Participants will continue to receive business development support from the pilot programme's delivery partner, Borneo MAD, for up to three years.

As a result of the intensive BSOMenterprise development programme, and the ongoing advice and mentoring, ten business plans were produced and three of the most promising entrepreneurs each received seed funding of RM 10,000 (US $2,400) to kick start their enterprises.

Lisa Sabrina Ambrose is one of those who is on course to achieve her entrepreneurial dream thanks to the Shell LiveWIRE Malaysia pilot programme. Lisa decided to give up her job in the hospitality sector to start her own food ordering marketplace and delivery business,, with the help of Shell LiveWIRE. "LiveWIRE has not only helped me validate my business ideas, it is currently helping me fulfil my ambition. When I left my career in the hospitality sector to pursue my business dream, I faced a lot of uncertainty and doubt about my future,” said Lisa.

"The turning point for me was the Become a Successful Owner Manager workshop, where I realised what a unique entrepreneurial programme LiveWIRE really is. The guidance and mentoring support that continued after the workshop gave me the push to pursue”

Caroline Shirley Joimer approached Shell LiveWIRE in order to turn her passion for herbal medicines into a commercial venture. Currently a civil servant, Caroline's entrepreneurial ambition is about to come to fruition thanks to Shell LiveWIRE.

Explaining the impact of Shell LiveWIRE on her entrepreneurial journey so far, Caroline said, "I've always wanted to use and develop my knowledge of traditional herbs into something that can replace prescriptive and manufactured medicine. But having the knowledge and starting a business are two very different things.

"There were a lot of struggles early on as I always found my progress blocked by my lack of understanding of how the entrepreneurial scene works.

"Many years in, and participating in various entrepreneurial workshops, the only one that has truly brought results for me is the Shell LiveWIRE programme.

"With the knowledge from the LiveWIRE workshops, I am also more confident that I have what it takes to become successful. Before this, I would not even have known where to begin.”

Caroline aims to see her business, Qiulu Herbs, up and running by the Autumn of 2016.

Serial entrepreneur Yudha Yunianto, who had previously run businesses involved in the agriculture and automotive sectors, approached LiveWIRE for support after identifying a gap in the market for better quality martabak (a folded pastry with savoury or sweet filling) in the local market.

Yudha said, "I have attended many entrepreneurial programmes but none of them come close to the Shell LiveWIRE programme. Programmes I've attended in the past often left me in the lurch at the end of the programme as the participants would not know what the next steps to progress their business would be.

When I attended the LiveWIRE programme the direction to further develop my business became very clear.”

His dedication and efforts during the BI and BSOM workshops were noticed and earned him a RM10,000 (US $2,400) grant to kickstart his business. With this injection of funds, Yudha purchased a machine to automate his processes, improving production by 100%.

"Through LiveWIRE I learned how to start my business the right way. And now, I've opened the first 'Martabaking' stall in May 2016; the first of many,” said Yudha.

Deana Majigoh started her furniture business Kazu in 2014, outsourcing the manufacturing abroad.

Following her decision to transfer production to a local vocational training institution within Malaysia, Deana approached LiveWIRE to enable her to scale up the business.

Through her participation in the Shell LiveWIRE workshops, Deana developed a better grasp on how best to develop the concept and marketing of her business.

Deana said, "LiveWIRE helped me take my business to the next level. Even though Kazu had opened in 2014, it was only operating as a small business and didn't seem very sustainable. After attending the workshops, my mind was open to more possibilities and it was the facilitators' confidence in my business idea that gives me the courage to believe in Kazu.”

Deana has just completed a revised value proposition and business model for Kazu and is continuing to run her business under the guidance of the Shell LiveWIRE facilitators.

Pamella Chua, a financial planner by profession, decided to approach Shell LiveWIRE to turn her passion for couture fashion into a business.

Pamella had made numerous handbags and fashion accessories for family and friends, and wanted to see whether there was a wider market for her products.

Pamella said, "Through the BSOM workshop, I had to explain my business plans to develop my handmade pieces as a business. Not only did it instil the discipline within me to finalise these plans, but the more I talked about it, the more confident in the idea I became."

The pivotal moment was during the customer segmentation and market validation modules where, with the help of the facilitators, clear success points for my business were identified. With a clear understanding of what my customers would want, I feel more confident to transform my passion into a career.”

Pamella's hopes that her business, Pamella Chua Collections, will launch in December 2016.


Shell LiveWIRE Malaysia pilot turns business dreams into reality
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