National Geographic : 2010 Nov
meet one of these innovators Shell launched the LiveWIRE program in 1982 in a Scottish town to combat high levels of youth unemployment. It now runs in over 20 countries and has encouraged around 1.3 million people ages 16--30 to develop their ideas. Its objective is to provide support and access to guidance to young entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs. All programs seek to add value to existing local policies and other initiatives providing support for the development of young people and their economic future. Malang in East Java, Indonesia, is rich in sweet potatoes---and opportunity. One 18-year-old student found a way to use these vegetables to make pastry. Now, boosted by the Shell LiveWIRE program, she runs her own food company. Seeing the vegetables litter the market streets around her house gave Malariantika Yulianggi an idea. "I was studying agricul- tural technology at Brawijaya University in Malang and wondered if the sweet potatoes could be a cheap alternative to wheat flour," explains Anggi, who prefers to use her nickname. "I experimented with a few recipes and it worked." She made her own pia, a pastry stuffed with a mixture of sweet potatoes and anything from green beans to chocolate, and sold it to students at her university. Her snacks were so successful that she decided to go into partnership with a fellow student already in the catering business. Anggi repackaged her product and marketed it to shops. Then in 2009 she heard about the Shell LiveWIRE Business Start-Up awards. "I was awarded 20 million rupiah (around $2,220) for supplies and equipment, as well as two years' business and marketing coaching sessions," says Anggi. "Winning Shell LiveWIRE proved to my family I can run a successful business." In 2009 BusinessWeek Asia listed Anggi among the finalists k for young entrepreneur of the year. Four other LiveWIRE beneficiaries also appeared, for businesses ranging from shoe design to photography, nutmeg oil to motorbike seats. For Anggi the program has helped to elevate her from student to successful businesswoman. It raised her profile in the media, helping her to access new markets. "It was great to receive the extra support," she says. "I advise other young entrepreneurs to never give up---it is self-belief that will help you succeed." advertisement Hatching Young Business Solutions come in all shapes and sizes and from every corner of the globe. Shell celebrates and encourages young innovators whose knowledge, creativity, and ideas help meet the needs of their local community, culture, and country in a socially and environmentally responsible way.