The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has given 21 youths, who graduated from its LiveWire Entrepreneurship programme, N15 million to share as a means to starting their businesses.
SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations Igo Weli said this at the 2015 Graduation and Award Ceremony for 21 beneficiaries of its sponsored LiveWIRE programme.
Weli said that 14,000 candidates in Niger Delta applied for the 2015 LiveWIRE programme out of which 150 youths were selected after a rigorous screening exercise.
“LiveWIRE is a programme designed to provide opportunities for young people in our host communities to realise their potential through creation and development of their own businesses.
“The programme gives youths access to entrepreneurial training, business development services as well as start-up capital for youth-owned businesses.
“This exercise, which started in 2003, has trained and empowered over 6,000 Niger Delta youths who have employed many youths in the area.
“Out of the 6,000 that this programme has trained, 3,000 of these trainees were assisted to set up their businesses through business start-up awards,’’ he said.
Weli added that no fewer than 40 people had been employed by trainees who graduated from its LiveWIRE programme in 2014.
According to him, the 2014 LiveWire graduates have made a combined profit of about N10 million excluding their capital.
He said that SPDC was committed and dedicated to developing youths in its host communities.
The Most Innovative Award prize winner, Mrs Gladys Nwabueze, said the programme equipped her with requisite knowledge and skills and handed her tools with which to work.
Nwabueze said the skills would enable her open up a sanitary pad company targeted at low-income earners.
“Sanitary pad is like a luxury to a lot of women hence I’ve developed a pad that will be affordable for use for everyday woman,’’ Nwabueze said.