Launched in 2003, LiveWIRE Nigeria is a flagship programme that provides access to training, business development services and start-up capital to establish and expand youth-owned businesses. To date, the programme has trained nearly 6000 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and management.

People aged between 18-35 in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states are invited to apply for the 2014 edition, with a chance to benefit from start-up funding and a wide range of support services including training workshops and business awareness sessions.

In 2011, SPDC commenced the implementation of a partnership with the Niger Delta Development Commission to expand the LiveWIRE programme with a focus on the economic empowerment of young women. Through this partnership, the LiveWIRE model has been used to create employment opportunities for over 1,600 women between the ages of 18 and 35.

“The LiveWIRE programme has become the main means of support for youths in the Niger Delta to start their own businesses” said General Manager, Sustainable Development and Community Relations, Nedo Osayande. “The success stories of several young entrepreneurs are really inspiring, and we’re delighted that more youths will take up the opportunity in the 2014 edition.”

A highlight of the LiveWIRE programme is the Young Business Leaders Awards for managers who have been in business for up to two years, and can show good progress in service delivery, financial growth, employment generation and improvement in management strategies. The generous cash awards are expected to help the young people further expand their businesses.

Employment generation for young people is just one aspect of the social investment portfolio of Shell companies in Nigeria. In 2013 alone, the SPDC JV and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) spent more than $100 million on voluntary social investment activities, making Nigeria the largest recipient of social investment by the Shell Group globally.