The first Shell LiveWIRE programme started in 1982 to help combat high levels of youth unemployment in Scotland. From those small beginnings, it has grown to become Shell’s flagship enterprise development programme across 13 countries. Together with Shell Springboard, its sister programme in the UK, Shell LiveWIRE has helped thousands of young entrepreneurs to set up sustainable, innovative and ultimately scalable businesses.
The UK, as well as Shell, has changed significantly over those 40 years. Shifting the UK to a low-carbon economy has become a key priority and an enormous challenge for the world; one that’s much bigger than any single company or technology can solve alone.
Shell’s enterprise development programmes have also evolved to reflect our changing world. In 2005, with the launch of Shell Springboard, we started supporting low-carbon start-ups. In 2014, Shell LiveWIRE UK changed its selection criteria; enabling Shell to support innovative young entrepreneurs with the potential to play an important part in the transition to a lower-carbon world.
It’s important we keep refreshing our approach to supporting entrepreneurs, to ensure we are providing the most impactful support. As such, we are currently not accepting applications for Shell LiveWIRE or Shell Springboard, as we update our programmes. The last Shell Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year winners were announced in July 2019, and the last Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Awards winner will be announced in September 2019.
Whilst still under development, our new programme will support early-stage low-carbon start-ups that are dedicated to the energy transition. We plan to launch our new UK programme in late 2019 or early 2020.
Besides social investment programmes, Shell supports start-ups in a variety of ways. For example, programmes such as Shell GameChanger, and, of course, Shell Ventures, invest in companies from early to late-stage that are relevant to our business. Shell Foundation, an independent charity, supports highly disruptive entrepreneurs to start and scale solutions to major development challenges.