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KUCHING, Nov 15: Five entrepreneurs who won the 2018 Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme received a RM15,000 seed grant from Shell Malaysia and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS) Digital Innovation Hub.
The winners, chosen after a series of workshops and business model assessment competition, would receive mentoring and coaching support from Shell LiveWIRE facilitators for the next three years to assist them in transforming their ideas to full-fledged businesses.
They are Mohd Marzwan Abdul Rahman, Sulie Abell, Jason Foong Wei Khiong, Heineken Laluan and Izuwan Rabaie.
Mohd Marzwan pitched his ‘The Lobster Project’ that aimed to provide an accessible solution to alternative sources of livelihood for the lowest income earners in Sarawak through freshwater lobster farming.
Sulie’s project, ‘Sluvi’, is a social enterprise focused on helping the rural farmers of Simanggang by purchasing their produce and turned them into organic skincare products, suitable for all skin types.
Foong, through his ‘Green Oasis’ project, intended to be Sarawak’s leading producer of affordable and pesticide-free vegetables using an integrated urban hydroponic satellite farm system.
Heineken is the creator of ‘Timogah.com’, an online shopping platform for market produce with delivery service within the Kuching area. His platform promotes indigenous produce that comes from the jungles of Borneo and from rural farmers.
Izuwan came up with ‘Thirst Milkshake’, which produces refreshing and tasty beverages for the masses, with an emphasis on local Sarawakian flavours that are free from artificial flavours.
The winners were chosen from almost 100 entrepreneurs who presented their ideas this year. From the lot, 30 were selected to attend a rigorous ‘Become A Successful Owner Manager’ workshop, where they were required to submit their business plans that incorporated a detailed business model and strategy. These business plans went through a stringent assessment that resulted in the selection of the best 10.
The final 10 entrepreneurs then proceeded to a Pitching Workshop and Competition, where they pitched their ideas to an independent panel of judges, who selected the five winning ideas.
“I presented the awards to last year’s winning ideas, which I felt were diverse and creative, but this year I am introduced to a new set of innovative ideas that I’ve not heard of before.
“I’m happy that our Sarawakian entrepreneurs have a platform to unveil new business ideas and garner the support needed, through the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme,” said TEGAS chief operating officer Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed at the award presentation ceremony here on Wednesday.
Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Iain Lo said the programme required participants to undergo rigorous workshops and presentations to ensure that they were not only committed to their business ideas but were also aware of the challenges that lay ahead.
“The programme empowers participants to overcome the challenges they may face in starting their businesses and guides them in coming up with solutions that will ensure the sustainability of their businesses,” he added.
Most of this year’s finalists had altruistic intent at the core of their business, which is to benefit the masses as opposed to just being profitable.
“Even though I’ve participated in other entrepreneurial development programmes before, the Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme’s encouragement for social enterprises through the support and mentoring of the facilitators has certainly increased my confidence to deliver my skincare products for the benefit of the farmers in Simanggang,” said Sulie.
Mohd Marzwan, meanwhile, commented: “Beyond just pursuing a business idea, we were taught to keep our business ideas centred around solving common issues as that would ensure the sustainability of our business.
“I love that the programme didn’t just take our idea at face value. It challenged us to think on the impact it would create and what we will achieve by turning it into a business.”
Shell LiveWIRE is an entrepreneurial programme that seeks to unveil potential start-up entrepreneurs in Sabah and Sarawak. It aims to inspire young entrepreneurs to innovate and produce real business solutions that meet today’s socio-economic needs. — DayakDaily
For further information on Shell’s LiveWIRE programmes, log on to www.shell.com. — DayakDaily