Global entrepreneurship scheme on hunt for talent as it returns to Scotland after four-year lull
Shell LiveWIRE, which now operates in 20 countries, is seeking small and medium-sized enterprises that have a “clear ambition for expansion but are experiencing hurdles on their journey”. The global programme last operated in Scotland in 2019, returning this year after a “period of review” to ensure that it “reflected the changing business landscape”.
Energy giant Shell has appointed Elevator to deliver the Scottish relaunch. The business support organisation has more than 20 years’ experience across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Perth and Lanarkshire delivering support services through links with regional councils, the governments on both sides of the Border and a network of partners.
The LiveWIRE programme uses coaching and mentoring to help give participants the “tools and confidence needed to progress”, with a focus on driving sales growth, customer volumes and ultimately creating jobs. The first stage of LiveWIRE 2023-24 will target businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, before expanding into the west of Scotland.
The programme’s on-boarding process starts next month, with a roster of expert speakers scheduled to deliver “inspiring and challenging” workshops from January through to the programme’s culmination in May with a celebratory event. Participants will also take part in residential challenge days, where they will work collaboratively with fellow entrepreneurs from 15 local businesses. Additional benefits to the cohort include opportunities to apply for significant grant funding, Shell added. The second cohort - focusing on businesses in the west of Scotland - is primed to launch in April.
Programme and events operations manager Karen Clark, who will head up the free initiative, said: “We’ll be recruiting businesses that are looking to push through into the next stage of growth. They might have hit an obstacle or have a specific challenge to work through which we will encourage them to confront with a new innovation-focused mindset.”
Participating companies can be from any sector but must fit a number of criteria: small and medium-sized enterprises from two to 149 employees; participants must have key decision-making powers; located in Aberdeen City and Shire (west of Scotland for follow-up cohort); clear ambition for growth, but facing an obstacle to that growth; must be two years-plus and generating revenue (not a start-up); and willing to commit to the programme time needs.
After registering their interest, suitable applicants will be invited to complete the full application process by November 24.
Elevator chief executive Gary McEwan said: “Our ethos is rooted in pushing entrepreneurs to achieve maximum potential, in turn delivering meaningful impact across communities. Combining this with the power of Shell LiveWIRE promises to supercharge that impact.”
Simon Roddy, senior vice president of Shell UK Upstream, added: “We know that programmes like these can act as a catalyst for progress, fostering connections, driving innovation and strengthening local economies by promoting entrepreneurship and meaningful employment. We look forward to working with Elevator UK to empower local enterprises to thrive.”
Shell LiveWIRE is one of a range of investments that the oil major is making to help support 15,000 people into jobs, with a focus on the energy transition over the next decade.
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