Seven young entrepreneurs, each aligned with Shell’s value chain, have graduated from the latest Shell LiveWIRE South Africa enterprise development programme, and already two of the businesses have been identified as having the potential to become future Shell suppliers.

The entrepreneurs, whose businesses range from wholesale of petroleum products and waste management solutions to customised safety wear services, graduated at a special ceremony in Johannesburg, attended by Barbara Makhubedu, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Shell Downstream South Africa.

Speaking at the launch of the 2017/18 Shell LiveWIRE programme last July, Shell South Africa’s Country Chairman, Hloniphizwe Mtolo emphasised the importance of the programme in assisting Shell South Africa to develop a pipeline of suppliers and to assist the country to progress through its transformation, while creating shared value for society.

To reach this stage, the entrepreneurs have undergone a series of enterprise training and development support, delivered by Shell LiveWIRE South Africa’s delivery partner, Raizcorp. In July 2017, 37 budding young entrepreneurs were selected to attend the first phase of the programme; the two-day ‘Bright Ideas Workshop. Here, participants were given the opportunity to test and refine their business ideas and receive an insight into the top business opportunities within Shell’s value chain. Each candidate then pitched their business idea to a panel of experts, and 20 were chosen to progress to the next stage of the Shell LiveWIRE programme; ‘Business Planning & Management Training’. This five-day intensive training programme took participants through modules designed to develop key business skills, including marketing, finance, business planning, human resources and self-management.

Seven candidates were then selected to attend the next stage; the ‘Pre-Prosperator Programme’ business development phase. This six-month programme enabled the young entrepreneurs to develop and refine their business model and to produce a viable business plan. At the end of the programme, the entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to experts from Shell, including senior managers from the Shell Enterprise & Supplier Development Board.

The seven start-ups to graduate are:

Ipeleng Dammie of Credeco (Pty) Ltd. Provides turn-key solutions to land development right up to the point of service station construction.

Shaaque Meyer of Dankie My Pa Printers. A digital printer specialising in large format and screen printing services.

Anovuyo Bam of Green Ano Recyclinx (Pty) Ltd. Manufactures slabs and tiles, made from recycled glass, for commercial and domestic clients.

Lebogang Lebaleng of Source of Aqua Life. Provides purified water to the rural area of Robega and the surrounding villages. They purify water from a municipal source using reverse osmosis.

Tiyani Baadjie of TB Legacy Projects (Pty) Ltd. A petroleum products wholesaler.

Nombulelo Leeuw of The Greenhub (Pty) Ltd. Provides onsite waste management, offering a practical and innovative means of increasing recycling and reducing waste to landfill sites.

Thokozile Maswanganye of Thoko Safety Wear & Services (Pty) Ltd. Offers customised cleaning and safety wear services needed by private and public companies. They also provide safety plans for companies with regard to SHEQ systems.

Speaking of the benefits she derived from the Shell LiveWIRE South Africa programme, Lebogang Lebaleng of Source of Aqua Life, said, “My journey on the Shell LiveWIRE programme has been an eye-opening experience. It broadened my understanding of what it is, and what it takes, to be an entrepreneur. Shell LiveWIRE enabled me to develop the practical and achievable strategies that will bring to life the vision I have for my business.”

Tiyani Baadjie of TB Legacy Projects, is also appreciative of the support she received from the programme, saying, “The Shell LiveWIRE programme made me reconsider my approach to business. I have had an opportunity to work on my business skills and my personal development.”

Ipeleng Dammie of Credeco added, “Shell LiveWIRE enabled my transition from the corporate to the entrepreneurial space. Access to a guiding team ensured the continuous and organic evolution of my business strategy into realistic and measurable objectives.”

Ntobeko Mogadime, Shell LiveWIRE South Africa Programme Manager, said, “Since the relaunch of the programme in 2014, Shell LiveWIRE is not only contributing to the country’s transformation, and addressing youth unemployment, but also in providing collaboration to develop opportunities to enable young black owned businesses to enter Shell’s value chain.

We will continue to develop the programme to be sector specific and to attract businesses that form the core of our supply chain.”

Each of the seven graduate businesses will now benefit from a three-year long programme of post start-up support, including incubation, monthly bookkeeping, access to personal mentors, training and business networking.