Screenshot of programme launch participants

On Friday, September 25, Shell LiveWIRE Philippines held its official programme launch, in partnership with the Filipino government. The virtual event served as the official call for collaborators for the programme, which aligns with a national push in support of innovation and start-ups.

“New ideas are what drive the future of nation-building, but many aspiring entrepreneurs struggle to make those ideas a reality without the right support,” said Shell Vice President for External and Government Relations Serge Bernal. Bernal, along with key stakeholders from Shell, the government, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem, spoke at the event to highlight the importance of technology and digital solutions in the COVID-19 recovery process.

Shell LiveWIRE Philippines, with its focus on building livelihoods and driving technological innovation, encompasses the digital direction in which the government would like to head. For example, three technology start-ups are currently enrolled in Shell LiveWIRE Philippines’ start-up boot camp, and all three were present during the launch: uHoo, an air monitoring system that will transform the way that businesses manage spaces; Nanotronics, a biomaterials start-up that is using indigenous plants to help reduce plastic waste; and Nextpay, a banking services platform that aims to make financial services more inclusive of small business owners and service providers.

Three community enterprises are also participating in Shell LiveWIRE Philippines this year: MagzWheel Furniture, which specialises in converting used rubber tires into furniture and apparel; Green Factory by Oro Handmade Innovations Inc., which manufactures handmade paper products and is pioneering a plan to render all factory processes environmentally-friendly; and Eco Explorations PH, an eco-tourism business providing sustainable livelihoods to locals while working to preserve the environment and cultural heritage sites.

Finally, Shell LiveWIRE Philippines will further integrate three social enterprises that were previously supported by Shell Philippines, with the goal of improving their business management capacities: SIBBAP Multipurpose Cooperative, which employs women in the production of facemasks and PPE suits sold for Shell companies in the Philippines (including retail stations); the CocoHub, run by a group of coconut farmers, which produces accessories, wallets, lampshades, and vinegar out of coconut waste; and the EcoBrick Hub (currently under construction), which will repurpose plastics into bricks that will be sold to Shell retail stations and infrastructure projects of government and private industries.

More than 155 local entrepreneurs from all over the Philippines applied to take part in Shell LiveWIRE PH’s start-up acceleration, training, mentoring and coaching programme. As the launch drew to a close, Serge Bernal expressed enthusiasm about the programme: “Shell LiveWIRE seeks to be a platform for connecting entrepreneurs to the assistance that they need, and we are very excited to have all these partners work with us towards building the nation. During these extraordinary circumstances, we need extraordinary solutions.” With the support of the global LiveWIRE family, along with the national government, Shell LiveWIRE Philippines is well-positioned to energise innovative Filipino entrepreneurs and drive meaningful impact.