During the three-day event, 180 budding young entrepreneurs undertook an intensive series of entrepreneurial, personal and management development challenges to test their problem-solving abilities, creative drive and business acumen to the full.

Over 700 young people aged between 20-34 years old applied for the selection weekend, from which 387 were invited to attend a personal interview, resulting in 180 going forward to the weekend from 13th-15th April at the HUB RJ – a coworking space in Rio de Janeiro.

The 180 candidates came with a diverse array of business ideas, ranging from waste management and food to renewable energy and construction.

The weekend started with a day of inspiring talks from some of Shell Iniciativa Jovem’s alumni, who gave the participants a unique insight into their experiences as successful entrepreneurs.

Day two challenged the candidates to work in groups to design enterprising solutions to some of Brazil’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges. Key speakers, including: Glauco Paiva, Head of External Relations, Shell Brazil; Carolina Dubeux, Climate Centre, COPPE; and, Pedro Paulo Bastos, UFRJ Researcher, led sessions on the energy future, urban acceleration and climate change, and candidates were assessed on their ability to work in groups to devise imaginative, enterprising solutions.

The final day provided each participant with the opportunity to secure one of 80 places on the prestigious 2018 Shell Iniciativa Jovem programme by pitching their business idea to a panel of business experts.

The 80 successful budding entrepreneurs will now embark on the year long programme which will enable them to benefit from a series of enterprise development training workshops, mentoring, coaching and networking activities which will enable each participant to design and validate their business model, and to ensure that their business is economically and environmentally sustainable.

One of the young entrepreneurs to be selected from the Shell Iniciativa Jovem Weekend is Ariça Varga, whose personalised language tuition business, ‘Speak As You Go’, enables students to become proficient in English within 18 months. Commenting on the weekend, Ariça said, “I’m very happy to have the support of experienced professionals to help me develop my business. With their support, my aim is to use my teaching methodology to benefit many more people around the world.”

Yago dos Santos from communications agency Diálogo is also excited at the prospect of participating in Shell Iniciativa Jovem, saying, “This is a watershed moment for me, and the supportive environment provided by Shell is the perfect place to develop and grow my business.”

Commenting on the success of the selection weekend, Glauco Paiva, Head of External Relations, Shell Brazil, said, “These enterprising youngsters have the potential to solve the energy challenge facing Brazil and the world. It’s possible that as a result of the weekend an idea will emerge that will revolutionise the market, or at least enhance the lives of the entrepreneurs and their communities. That’s why the Shell LiveWIRE Weekend is so important.”

For a fuller flavour of the Shell Iniciativa Jovem Weekend, please watch the video here.