Launched during Ramazan in July 2014, Shell Tameer’s ‘Build the Future’ campaign was a nationwide appeal for financial donations to provide seed capital for students from SOS Technical Training Institute and The Hunar Foundation to start up their own businesses, with the support of Shell Tameer.

Shell Tameer ran a series of customised enterprise development workshops to enable students to transform their enterprising ideas into sustainable businesses. Particular emphasis was given to encourage and support businesses from the automotive, electrical and mechanical sectors which could become aligned with Shell’s value chain, and with the potential to become Shell suppliers, Lube shop retailers and sub-contractors.

The first 11 enterprises to receive funding are from the SOS Technical Training Institute (SOS TTI) in Karachi. More than half of the businesses are from the automotive industry, and directly aligned with Shell’s Lubes business, with the remainder spanning the electrical, IT and clothing sectors.

To reach this stage, each of the entrepreneurs has attended a ‘Bright Ideas’ enterprise awareness event and then went on to research and plan their business during an intensive ‘Become a Successful Owner Manager’ (BSOM) enterprise development programme. The BSOM enabled the budding entrepreneurs to develop the essential knowledge and skills required to start and run a successful, sustainable business. Running from January to July 2015, the ‘Build the Future’ workshops covered key topics ranging from market research and business planning to financial and human resource management, culminating in the production of a viable business plan.

A special event to present the funding awards was attended by chief guest Admiral (Retd) Syed Ahmed Baqar, Chief Executive Infaq Foundation, along with SoS Board Members and Afshan Khan, Social Investment Manager (Retd), Shell Pakistan Limited, with her team.

Shell Tameer received over 47 applications from candidates wishing to participate in the inaugural programme, and 28 were selected to take part in the first ‘Build The Future’ workshop series. The 11 start ups were selected for funding, from 28 business plans produced as a result of the BSOM programme, on the strength of the business model, alignment with Shell’s business, and for having significant potential for growth. The selection panel comprised representatives from Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (SMEDA), SOS TTI Faculty Members, and Shell Tameer role models.

Each of the 11 businesses will continue to benefit from a range of post-start up support from Shell Tameer through TIDE Internships in terms of mentoring, linkages to business incubation services, and market access opportunities.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, the chief guest described the event as, “A proud day for Shell Tameer!” He went on to congratulate the 11 entrepreneurs, saying, “You can be proud of what you’ve achieved.”

Behzad Khan, Social Investment Manager, Shell Pakistan Limited, said, “This is a great milestone achieved to provide sustainable livelihoods for young skilled entrepreneurs.”

The funds raised from the campaign will provide the start up capital required to launch some 200 new start ups which will create around 1,000 employment opportunities and will improve the livelihoods of over 6,000 people in the local community.