Shell LiveWIRE launches Let’s Go Trade and Top Ten Innovators for 2017

Shell LiveWIRE is running its global Let’s Go Trade and Top Ten Innovators Awards programme as part of the 35th Anniversary celebrations this year, supporting the export ambitions of alumni, and rewarding excellence in their business innovation.

Let’s Go Trade, which was first run in 2015, will support a new wave of Shell LiveWIRE alumni to undertake international trade visits that will potentially open up new markets and accelerate innovation within their businesses.

The programme is aimed at businesses already supported by Shell LiveWIRE programmes across the globe who would like to undertake an international visit to investigate new markets and ways to innovate in their business – in order to become more sustainable, increase their turnover and the number of jobs they create.

Grants of up to US $3,000 will be available for up to 20 businesses who have an ambition to trade internationally and believe a trip will help them gain new business opportunities in a new market; to develop or implement an innovation which will provide a competitive advantage in their market sector; develop an energy transition innovation; or, to explore opportunities for the innovation within Shell’s supply chain.

Previous Let’s Go Trade beneficiary Anita Yuli, founder of Emeno Nursing Wear from Indonesia, used her Let’s Go Trade grant to travel to the UK to investigate innovations that would enhance her fashion label for breastfeeding mothers.

Explaining the outcome of her visit, Anita said, “The Let’s Go Trade experience was awesome! It has enabled me to prioritise R&D to improve and grow my business. Innovations I have already implemented have led to a 10% increase in earnings, and I am also introducing a new online store.”

Top Ten Innovators, which was first run in 2015, will reward the ten Shell LiveWIRE supported entrepreneurs, who have demonstrated outstanding innovation in developing their businesses, with a total prize fund of US $75k, comprising: One Global Winner’s Award of US $15k; three ‘Runner Up’ awards of US $10k; and, six ‘Merit’ awards of US $5k.

The programme is aimed at those who have been in business for between 12 months and five years, who can demonstrate the impact of their innovation in delivering a competitive advantage for the business, and delivering sustainability and opportunities for growth and job creation. Top Ten Innovators also provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to show how their innovation is contributing to the energy transition, or to improving the sustainability of major supply chains.

Top Ten Innovators will showcase and celebrate excellence in innovation – the act of making changes in a business via the introduction of new products (or improvements of existing ones), services, methods or processes. These changes will make a significant positive difference, and that difference should be measurable in some way (e.g. an increase in jobs, turnover or customers; savings in time, cost or resource). Real innovation will lead to sustainability and growth.

Esther Wang of Joytingle was the inaugural Top Ten Innovators Global Award Winner, collecting US $15k for her interactive hospital toy, ‘Rabbit Ray’, which is used to reduce anxiety in young patients undergoing treatment for serious medical conditions. Since its launch in 2012, the product has been used with over 10,400 children in several hospitals throughout Singapore. The toy is also being used by institutions in Australia, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Commenting on her success, Esther said, “Winning the Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Global Award is Joytingle’s first big break on the international stage. It gained the attention of relevant business partners and customers which otherwise would have taken much longer.”

The success of Joytingle was highlighted by Singapore’s Finance Minister during his 2016 budget speech in parliament, which was broadcast live. The minister commented that Esther understood that, “innovation is not just about technology or gizmos. But really about meeting human needs, making the world a better place, and how they can make an impact on the lives of others.”