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Local entrepreneur wins global award

Published: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Local entrepreneur Maria Borneo, who operates a pastelle making business, has won the merit award in Shell’s LiveWIRE’s top ten global innovators competition. The announcement was made at yesterday’s media launch of Shell’s LiveWIRE global entrepreneurship project at Shell’s Hospitality Suite. Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.

Leslie Bowrin, Shell T&T’s external relations advisor, said the programme will support local enterprise by helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into long-term sources of income. He said Shell had partnered with Youth Business T&T (YBTT) over the last three years and the launch of Shell LiveWIRE builds on that partnership.

A Youth Enterprise Development programme provides business training, networking, mentorship and loan financing for both startup and existing businesses, he added

“In January 2018, YBTT will implement the Shell LiveWIRE programme with a pilot project that supports business growth and develops and strengthens entrepreneurs,” Bowrin said.

The initiative targets young people, innovative entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs capable of supplying goods and services to oil and gas operators and contractors, he explained.

“The pilot programme will support the expansion of identified under-developed economic sectors such as waste management and recycling,” Bowrin said

Dr Kieron Swift. of the Economic Development Advisory Board, commented in his keynote address on the impact Shell’s LiveWIRE project will have on the country’s innovation agenda.

“Programmes like Shell LiveWIRE stimulate innovation by building capacity among the next generation of innovators,” he said.

“Since 1982 over 9.2 million young entrepreneurs have benefitted from Shell LiveWIRE programmes through obtaining access to the essential business knowledge and customised support they need to transform their enterprising ideas into viable and sustainable businesses.”

Swift said the best example of innovation-driven entrepreneurship over the last four years is the ideas 2 innovation programme which ran from 2012 to 2016.

“During that four-year period we attracted 1688 applications and gave out 185 non-reimbursable grants totalling $18.4 million,” he said.