LGT provided Shell LiveWIRE alumni with grants of up to US $3k each to enable them to undertake international trade visits to potentially open up new markets, develop new business opportunities, and to accelerate innovation within their businesses.

Participants of the 2015 LGT programme included businesses from eight Shell LiveWIRE countries involved in sectors ranging from renewable energy to natural cosmetics and medical training to environmentally friendly fire extinguishers. Specific reasons identified by participants for their LGT visits ranged from implementing the latest manufacturing technology to improving production efficiency and conducting market research to establishing regional distribution networks.

A recent survey of the participants reveals that 12 of the entrepreneurs, who received LGT grants totalling US $32,970 together generated new business opportunities worth US $1,184,000; where each dollar of grant generated US $36 of new business benefit. The entrepreneurs also reported that they had created or safeguarded 14 jobs, and rated the impact that the programme had on their businesses at an average of 8.3 out of 10.

One of the alumni to benefit from the programme is UK entrepreneur Samuel Etherington, who used his LGT grant of US $1,250 to visit Portugal, to develop opportunities for his wave power technology business, Aqua Power Technologies. Commenting on the impact of his visit, which involved meeting leaders in the wave energy sector, Samuel Etherington said, “The Let’s Go Trade visit enabled Aqua Power Technologies to access US $526k of investment from private investors and grants.

“Without the LGT grant, the new finance that has been accessed would not be available and the company would have been set back. The LGT grant input has been beneficial and added value to Aqua Power Technologies’ total achievements to date.”

The visit also enabled Samuel to improve the efficiency of his technology, to undertake two grant projects worth US $92k, and to safeguard five jobs.