With the innovations and creative solutions they provide, startups are showing great potential, especially here in the Philippines. In fact, when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has struck the country, many startups have offered their solutions to meet the suddenly changing needs of consumers — from contactless payments, telemedicine, delivery services, to online learning.
Seeing that startups can bring fresh and timely solutions to the market and, in turn, provide livelihoods to many and greatly contribute to the economy, both the public and private sectors are giving support to these businesses.
The Department of Trade and Industry, for instance, has several programs aimed at developing the country’s startup ecosystem. These include the SMART (Strategic MSMLE & Startup) Link, which seeks to match Philippine startups offering commercial products with micro, small, medium and large enterprises; and Startup Acceleration and Incubation by DTI, or StartupAID, which provides specialized training and customized development programs to assist startups.
Another government agency, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), also provides support to startups through its Startup Grant Fund Program. The program is designed to help qualifying startups overcome research and development (R&D) roadblocks and refine business models to transform their early-stage tech into market-ready products.
On the public-private front, the QBO Innovation Hub gathers the startup community as it gives entrepreneurs various services such as mentorship, networking, incubation programs, and even a co-working space. Non-profit organization IdeaSpace Foundation, meanwhile, runs founder-focused programs for early-stage tech startup founders, ensuring founders get the boost they need at the critical phases of their businesses.
There are also several programs from the private sector which give support to promising startups, one of which comes from one of the world’s leading energy companies.
Shell LiveWIRE is Shell’s flagship enterprise development program which aims to strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. The program’s mission is to support local communities by funding their businesses and growing them with the goal of eventually housing them within the Shell business ecosystem.
The program was first launched at Scotland back in 1982, when one in eight people were found to be out of work in the United Kingdom. As a way of dealing with this emerging issue, Shell LiveWIRE was launched with an aim to address growing levels of youth unemployment through entrepreneurship.
For more than 30 years, Shell LiveWIRE makes a positive social impact on communities in countries such as France, Brazil, Pakistan, and Malaysia — contributing to local business development, job creation, and innovative social and economic solutions. In 2019, a total of 3,079 participants completed the program, which helped create 1,269 businesses and 1,399 jobs.
Shell’s global enterprise development program is also starting to make an impact here in the Philippines. Since it was launched here in 2020, Shell LiveWIRE has been energizing Filipino entrepreneurs from several tech startups and social and community enterprises.
These include uHoo, which develops a device that helps measure air quality; Ecobricks Macalajar Wharf Porters Association, which manufactures bricks out of recyclable materials, and MagzWheel, which creates furniture out of discarded tires.
This year, Shell LiveWIRE in the Philippines is looking for new startups to support and accelerate as it starts a nationwide search for startups that fall under the Energy, Environment & Circular Economy, and Local Prosperity tracks.
Within the Energy track, Shell’s program is looking for enterprises that provide disruptive innovations that are related to the access, distribution, and optimization of energy and clean energy solutions.
At the Environment & Circular Economy track, startups that help shift the world to a circular economy, such as sustainable packaging, food waste, upcycling, and waste reduction solutions, are sought.
Within the Local Prosperity track, meanwhile, Shell is looking for enterprises that help power human progress and deliver positive social change and/or economic growth. In particular, startups whose solutions enable access to finance and education, job creation, health and safety, and diversity and inclusion, are sought.
Startups that will be included in the Shell LiveWIRE Acceleration Program will get access to mentorship and financial support for their team and product development. They also get a chance to win funding for their company and work in partnership with Shell Philippines.
As it supports more enterprises this year, Shell LiveWIRE opens another opportunity for Filipinos to refine their businesses and secure sustainable means of livelihood. Be part of Shell’s long-running global enterprise development program. Pre-register your business for Shell LiveWIRE 2021 and know more about the program at www.shell.com.ph.