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Annual business fair and programme awards

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Iniciativa Jovem, the Shell LiveWIRE scheme in Brazil, has held its special annual business fair and awards event in Rio de Janeiro to showcase the latest entrepreneurial talent the programme has helped to develop.

34 young entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to present their fledgling businesses to an influential audience of around 300 people, comprising business leaders, successful entrepreneurs, partner organisations, volunteers and members of the public, many of whom may be potential customers or suppliers.

The business fair focused minds on the ‘characteristics of the entrepreneur of the future’, and ‘sustainable entrepreneurship’. This reflects the programme’s ethos of encouraging the entrepreneur to consider the impact of their business in its widest context, including economically, socially and environmentally.

A keynote address by Mariana Lellis, Marketing Coordinator from Rock in Rio, and Vandre Brilhante of CIEDS, paved the way for a round table debate on the importance of sustainability initiatives for SMEs.

Eight young businesses, covering business sectors including business technology, social economy, and creative industry, competed for prizes totalling US $14,000. The prestigious top prize went to Mauana Simas of ‘Nos Todos Filmes’, which specialises in making videos fully accessible for people with sensory disabilities. The runner up award was presented to Gabriel Mayr, whose company ‘URECE’ provides access to sports and culture for the visually impaired. URECE is already making a name for itself in reducing social exclusion and its work has been recognised by leading international agencies including the UN, FIFA and UNICEF. Third place went to Gabriel Fayer’s design studio, ‘Cult Studio’.

Fabio Caldas, Director of External Affairs, Shell Brazil said, “With Iniciativa Jovem, we believe that we are helping to broaden the future perspectives of entrepreneurial young people, and are sowing the seeds for a culture of sustainability and innovation among them.

“They are certainly the best energy resources for the country’s development for the next 100 years!”

Over the next six months, the 34 businesses will participate in the ‘Business Factory’ stage of the programme, during which they will be provided with a special package of consultancy support and mentoring, along with regular check-ups, to enable them to launch their ventures. They will also have the opportunity to submit their businesses for the programme’s prestigious ‘Seal of Sustainable Entrepreneurship’, which endorses the business model as being sustainable.


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