KOTA KINABALU: Food waste management is one of the five innovative ideas that Shell finds is worthy to give a RM10,000 grant under its LiveWIRE entrepreneurial programme this year in Sabah.
The programme, in its fifth year since starting in 2015, aims to unearth potential start-up entrepreneurs in Sabah and Sarawak and inspire them to produce real business solutions that meets today’s socio-economic needs.
To date, it had attracted 363 entrepreneurs in Sabah and there were 23 winners or recipients of the RM10,000 seed grants, Sabah Shell said in a statement.
The five winners this year were picked from over 80 participants of workshops in Keningau, Penampang and Kota Kinabalu under the programme last month.
“I’ve participated in other entrepreneurial development programmes in Sabah before, but the LiveWIRE programme really empowered me to be confident to pursue my business ideas.
“With the mentoring and coaching that comes after this, I’m looking forward to realising my entrepreneurial dreams, ” said Gerald Thomas Wong, who is the brain behind Black Soldier Flies larvae used to break down food waste.
The idea was to turn the excessive waste of food into something useful – the process of breaking it down with the larvae allows it to be used as natural high protein feed stock for livestock.
Another recipient, Nurahzrine Siluan, pitched a business idea of ‘extraordinary fertigation’, which introduces techniques to farmers and landowners of plots considered unsuitable for conventional farming to help transform the land into a productive one.
Fertigation is the injection of fertilisers, of which one of the functions is soil amendment.
“The LiveWIRE programme’s lessons made it easier for me to plan what I need to do next to expand my business idea and grow it into a real business, ” she said.
The other three winners are Xtina Tan who produces handmade mochi, Zazila Roslan who turns waste plastic into blocks that can substituted for wood, and rehab professional Mohd Iman Jabilin who wants to make professional rehab services more accessible to the disabled in the interior areas.
Besides the RM10,000 seed grant, the winners will also receive mentoring and coaching support from Shell LiveWIRE facilitators for the next three years to assist them in transforming their ideas to full-fledged businesses.
Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd general manager Prithipal Singh said Shell Malaysia would provide assistance to these start-ups in the early stages of their businesses, where they face the most challenges.
He hoped that through the LiveWIRE programme coaching, these entrepreneurs will be equipped to seek business opportunities in the wider market.