Shell refuels its SME development programme

Updated on 17 October 2014

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Shell refuels its SME development programmeThere is a difference between the failure of a business and the failure of an entrepreneur. The wisdom to differentiate between the two ensures the success of an enterprise.

These wise words were from Allon Raiz, CEO of Raizcorp, who yesterday welcomed a group of 51 young entrepreneurs into an intensive LiveWire 2.0 enterprise development programme sponsored by their partner, Shell.

“Failure is part of your journey as entrepreneurs, and that is how you learn to be in business,” Raiz said, adding that South Africa needs to stop being a shame-based society.

The LiveWire

The Shell LiveWire 2.0 programme is a global social investment initiative that focuses on instilling a culture of entrepreneurship by providing training and equipping young people with the necessary entrepreneurial skills.

It was established in South Africa in 1995 and is now offered in 17 countries globally.

Shell has partnered with Raizcorp, a business incubation and enterprise and supplier development company, to facilitate the programme.

“In a world where quantity is valued more than quality, Raizcorp remains resolute that the selection of a smaller number of top quality entrepreneurs will result in a stronger, more positive local impact,” said Raiz.

Reaping what they sow

The programme supports historically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 35 who have business drive. Entrepreneurs in the programme attend various phases of training and development over a period of three years in three phases.

Shell marketing assistant, Naledi Maphosa, said that though a number of entrepreneurs will be eliminated by the end of first year, the primary goal was to ensure they enjoy maximum support.

“It’s going to be about how much hard they work and the result they produce,” said Maphosa.


The revised programme focuses on a market based approach for youths to set up businesses in high performing sectors that have the potential to create jobs and sustain businesses. There is also a shift from “awareness creation” to “enterprise development”.

Services that Raizcorp will offer to participants include enhanced business support for them to gain, among other things, access to finance, incubation, market linkages, mentors, technology.

Entrepreneurial commitment

Chairman of Shell South Africa, Bonang Mohale said LiveWire is a natural extension of their commitment to minimise poverty, unemployment, and inequality.

“We believe this new format will prepare young people with relevant skills that meet market demands,” said Mohale.

Aldiane Pieters, a participant whose company – Career Step – trains learners, school leavers and the unemployed on how to find jobs, said he hopes the programme will take his business forward.

“This is an opportunity to take my business to another level.”

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