Shell Nigeria has released another 120 groomed entrepreneurs with N48m
(N400,000 each) to join 7,077 others already making waves in the
private sector to create wealth and employ others. They represent the
2018 batch in Shell’s LiveWIRE scheme that has gone nationwide.

Of the number, seven were singled out as outstanding but one lady was
toasted as the most outstanding. She got a brand new laptop from one
of the managers. LiveWIRE has grown from strength to strength in the
past 16 years and now has fund managers (Grofin) and banks such as UBA
and GTB working as partners. It has emerged as one of the strongest
job creation and entrepreneurship schemes in Nigeria though initially
dedicated to the Niger Delta.

Most of the graduands are said to be venturing into agric/food
processing sub-sector with the National Agency for Food and Drugs
Administration and Control (NAFDAC) working with Shell to ensure
regulatory standards from the onset. Over 3000 LiveWIRE beneficiaries
are said to have been supported with seed capital in the past while
many more have gone ahead to get other funds from sources such as
Grofin and Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Shell’s General Manager (external relations), Igo Weli, said they have
reached out to banks to support the scheme, saying the scheme enables
young people to start their own businesses and create jobs for
themselves and others. “It  provides budding young entrepreneurs with
access to the essential business knowledge and customised support they
need to transform their enterprising ideas into a viable and
sustainable business.”

He said 2018 was an exciting year in enterprise development because in
addition to the regional programme, Shell launched a special LiveWIRE
programme in Ogbio local Government Area in Bayelsa specifically for
Oloibiri where oil was first found in commercial quantity in Nigeria.

He warned the beneficiaries that the road to successful
entrepreneurship is seldom smooth but that those who remained
determined and focussed always came out great.

Shell presented two global award winners who were previous
participants in LiveWIRE as success stories. Bayelsans in the audience
hailed as Yolo Bakumo Smith, CEO of De-Rabacon Plastics that recycles
used plastics. Hey also unveiled Henry Chukogu of Alternative Energy
firm that said he is sought after everywhere for his product. They
both appealed to the new batch never to joke with their seed capital.

Various financial experts, entrepreneurs, bankers, and career
activists took turns to motivate the young entrepreneurs and urged
them to remain on course. Shell said the company was proud of the
flagship youth scheme and would not deviate.

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