As many followers of Shell LiveWIRE will know, the regional programmes in nineteen countries train entrepreneurs and provide them with the skills and mentoring to help grow their businesses. But who trains these trainers?

From July through October 2021, LiveWIRE held a range of online training sessions for its Brazil, Brunei, and Philippines programmes. Known as training of trainers (ToT), the sessions enable the trainers in each LiveWIRE country programme to refresh their teaching and coaching skills and develop their areas of technical expertise. The ToT courses have been developed to support access to technical materials and best practices for training local entrepreneurs. Since 2020, these sessions have taken place virtually.

“The pandemic forced us to go online with our training of regional trainers, but it has not stopped us from ensuring our trainers across the world have access to leading technical experts and best practice teaching methodologies,” said Shell LiveWIRE Programme Manager, Charlotte Friedli.

“These training sessions provide regional trainers with the necessary practice in applying the tools and topics of each module, whether it be on financial management or mentoring of entrepreneurs.”

The topics of the training modules are focused on technical and implementation tools. Some of the modules are taught by experts in a technical field, such as business planning. While others are focused on softer skills that are just as central to the development of entrepreneurs, such as mentoring and coaching.

Each module includes homework exercises that are completed in teams. Shell trainers then provide feedback on the homework exercises. The live online training sessions are collaborative sessions between participants and trainers. They also share pedagogical methods and techniques, which are especially important for keeping a class of entrepreneurs engaged during virtual sessions which have become the norm during the pandemic.

The Philippines training sessions included modules on Business Planning & Market Research, Sustainability and Circular Economy, and Shell Value Chain Integration. The Sustainability and Circular Economy training provides an overview of the basic principles, covers global trends, frameworks, and provide resources for learning. It also focuses on how entrepreneurs can implement sustainable business models.

“The [training] session conducted was very helpful and refreshing at the same time,” said Olivia M. Sorio, Shell Program Officer in Batangas City who took part in the training of trainers. “The ToT boosted my knowledge further in order to deliver the programme.”

The Brunei training sessions included modules on Design Thinking and Social Media Marketing. The social media training aims to help entrepreneurs cultivate a strong digital presence for their brand, optimise their digital marketing strategy, and win customers.

“The ToT facilitators have done a wonderful job at equipping our team with valuable resources and insights. The knowledge and training put us in the lead in our local community to better support entrepreneurs that come from various industries and sectors,” said Afiq Mohammed, Lead Business Counsellor at Shell LiveWIRE Brunei.

“One of the exciting workshops for me particularly was on Design Thinking. It shifts our mindset to empathize our customers’ problems and experiment our ideas’ feasibility for the commercial market.”