Enterprise development and skills enhancement are key components of Shell’s purpose of powering progress together by providing more and cleaner energy. LiveWIRE is an important programme for Shell because it supports local enterprise by helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into long-term sources of income.

Our flagship: Shell LiveWIRE

Our flagship programme started 35 years ago. In 1982, one in eight people were out of work in the UK. Shell responded by launching Shell LiveWIRE in Scotland with the aim of addressing growing levels of youth unemployment through entrepreneurship.

Shell LiveWIRE makes a positive social impact on communities, contributing to local business development, job creation, and innovative social and economic solutions. Bringing these contributions to communities we see as part of our corporate social responsibility.  Each year LiveWIRE supports thousands of individual entrepreneurs globally to turn their bright ideas into a sustainable business and to scale up.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Shell LiveWIRE supporting businesses that are on the cutting-edge of innovation, focusing on energy solutions, supply chain integration and economic diversification. 

Visit the Shell LiveWIRE International website to see if the programme is available where you live and for details of how to apply.

Supporting Shell LiveWIRE alumni

Once up and running, we offer further opportunities and funding for Shell LiveWIRE alumni to help them grow their businesses and celebrate innovation.

  • Our Let’s Go Trade programme helps entrepreneurs who would like to travel internationally to investigate new markets and find ways to innovate in their business.
  • The Top Ten Innovators awards invites past participants to share their learnings and inspire others through their stories. Prizes are given to young role models who have succeeded in accelerating their innovative business ideas.

Meet some of the Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneurs

Turning footsteps into light

Pavegen, set up by Shell LiveWIRE UK grant winner Laurence Kemball-Cook, developed kinetic tiles to capture the energy of footsteps and convert it into electricity.

Transforming used coffee into energy

Bio-bean, Shell LiveWIRE UK finalists from 2013, are turning thousands of tonnes of used coffee grounds from coffee factories, coffee shops and offices into biofuel.

Pitching to the president

GiveMeTap set up by Shell LiveWIRE UK participant Edwin Broni-Mensah sells reusable bottles. The entrepreneurs behind it recently pitched their idea to Barack Obama.

Helping people with medical conditions

Esther Wang's company, Joytingle, won Shell's Top Ten Innovator prize in 2015 for the interactive toy, “Rabbit Ray”  which helps reduce anxiety experienced by young children undergoing medical treatment.

Bringing light to rural areas

Fatima Tendai, a Shell Pakistan LiveWIRE winner, whose solar lamp company won a Shell Tameer award for the economic opportunities it provides to rural communities.

Turning ideas into businesses

We are helping a new generation of entrepreneurs across Brazil turn their ideas into thriving businesses. They include Natália Vital who opened a hostel for oil and gas workers.

Running Shell LiveWIRE in Nigeria

Read the stories of Nigerian entrepreneurs whose projects were supported by Shell LiveWIRE. Many of its alumni have gone on to grow successful businesses.

Developing enterprise around the world

In addition to Shell LiveWIRE, Shell runs other social investment programmes that support new businesses and encourage entrepreneurship.

  • In Qatar, Shell supports ‘Enterprise Challenge Qatar’ a programme that encourages young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. The programme is delivered to students by volunteer mentors from a variety of professional backgrounds. 
  • Shell Canada runs The Shell Quest Climate Grant supporting entrepreneurs with ideas that can help address climate change. The scheme awards grants to successful applicants with projects that focus on energy efficiency, behavioural and social change, as well as clean energy initiatives.
  • Entrepreneurs of any age can apply to Shell Springboard in the UK. It provides funding to commercially viable, low-carbon businesses selected by an independent panel of judges. Past winners include GravityLight (2015), for its innovative technology that generates light from falling rocks, and Cella Energy (2011), which developed hydrogen storage technology and has since attracted funding from the US aeronautical agency Nasa.
  • Brunei Shell Petroleum works with the Ministry of Education and University of Brunei Darussalam to run ‘Brunei Entrepreneurial Education Scheme (BEES)’ which provides entrepreneurship training to secondary school students.

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Innovating together

Do you have a great idea or innovative technology? We look for creative people, companies and organisations to partner with.

Shell LiveWIRE

Visit the Shell LiveWIRE global website and see if the programme is available where you live.