Shell Oil Company, in collaboration with LiftFund, is bringing its global flagship programme, Shell LiveWIRE, to its west Texas operating areas in the Permian Basin. The Shell LiveWIRE Permian Basin Pilot programme is set to launch in September and designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners with the technical, business, and soft skills necessary to succeed. The programme aims to connect participants to support networks within the market to help build and expand successful businesses in the basin.

Small business and entrepreneurship programme focused on inclusion

  • Participants are not required to have prior business experience or formal education
  • Information and course delivery in English and Spanish with virtual and in-person
  • Options Laptop and child-care stipend support available

“There are many cultural, institutional and educational challenges to starting a business in the Permian Basin,” said Frits Klap, Shell Senior Vice President of US Shales. “Shell continuously aims to promote education, economic growth, and community resilience in our operating areas, and Shell LiveWIRE helps us do just that while complementing our existing social investment efforts in the region.”

LiftFund will act as the local implementing partner for the programme – bringing a proven curriculum, delivered in English and Spanish, that will be customized to meet the needs of the first Shell LiveWIRE cohort class. Participants will receive advisory services, and coaching from experts who have skills and experience tailored to their business challenges and the local business environment.

“LiftFund is proud to partner with Shell to design and host a LiveWIRE programme customized to fit the needs of aspiring and existing Permian Basin entrepreneurs,” said Janie Barrera, CEO and president of LiftFund. “This will be a one-of-a-kind programme that offers training, tools, mentorship and capital to support diverse entrepreneurs in all stages of business. We are looking forward to collaborating with local organizations to provide resources that will help strengthen the Permian Basin entrepreneurial ecosystem for years to come!”

In 2020, a feasibility study was conducted to explore the opportunity to bring the Shell LiveWIRE programme to the Permian Basin. The study uncovered several social and economic challenges and needs in the region that could be addressed through an entrepreneurial support programme like Shell LiveWIRE, including:

  • A need to diversify the Permian Basin economy to provide greater stability during economic downturns.
  • A siloed ecosystem in the region that is limited in reach to rural and underserved communities.
  • Limited access to capital, and smaller markets and consumer-bases for existing businesses.

The Shell LiveWIRE Permian Basin programme seeks to address these challenges, while also uniting existing local resources.

Anyone 18+ years of age and resides or looks to start a small business in Ector, Loving, Midland, Reeves, Winkler or Ward Counties can apply to be part of the first cohort class, free of charge, at Participants should either have an existing operating business or be actively working on a business idea in any industry or sector. Applications will be accepted starting August 1 and are due by September 25, 2021.