Twenty-eight beneficiaries of the Shell Nigeria LiveWIRE programme are now retooling to get a good share of the $800,000 growth fund for 2017 provided by Grofin Investment. Grofin is a business development financier supporting viable, growth-oriented small enterprises in the Niger Delta through the Aspire Small Business Funds (ASBF) supported by The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
To brighten their chances of securing sufficient financial support from Grofin and other lending institutions, SPDC has completed a one-day Business Scale-up and Linkage workshop for the beneficiaries drawn from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States.
“This is part of the mentoring element of Shell LiveWIRE. Our aim is to continuously contribute to creating sustainable employment, economic growth and social development through the provision of business development assistance to youths particularly in the Niger Delta,” said SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli.
Speaking at the workshop, SPDC Social Performance/Social Investment Manager, Gloria Udoh, charged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the mentoring and linkage opportunities to move their enterprises to higher levels. “This is an opportunity to sharpen your presentation, marketing and business relationship skills; understand how to grow your business; and learn how to make a successful pitch to access the Grofin SME loans and other business support facilities,” she said.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Stella Nnaji described the workshop as “filled with so much energy, motivation and opportunities”. She expressed gratitude to SPDC and its joint venture partners for the LiveWIRE programme which she said was making a world of difference in the growth of small and medium scale businesses in the Niger Delta.
The Shell LiveWIRE is a flagship enterprise development programme designed to help young people explore the option of starting their own business as a real and viable career option. It provides training, finance, and business mentorship for young entrepreneurs. It was launched in Nigeria in 2003 has produced thousands of Niger Delta entrepreneurs most of whom are now employers of labour. Some of the beneficiaries are also given the opportunity to play in SPDC’s supply chain as vendors and are provided with access to growth capital.