Shell Entreprendre is part of an international social investment programme run by the Shell Group. Its aim is to foster entrepreneurship in young people and encourage them to start viable businesses. The programme was launched in the UK in 1983 (as Shell LiveWIRE), and has since spread to 18 countries around the world. To date more than nine million young entrepreneurs worldwide have benefited from Shell’s programme.
In 2013, the Shell Group selected Gabon as the first country in French-speaking Africa to roll out its own Shell Entreprendre programme, worth 570 million CFA francs over a two-year period. Under this umbrella, 100 young Gabonese people underwent four months of in-depth training to help them discover and acquire the skills they needed to set up and run a viable business. Subjects covered included identifying high-potential sectors, qualities of entrepreneurship, drafting of a business plan, familiarisation with accounting and financial tools, value chain analysis and optimum market awareness.
Shell Gabon then selected the best of the business plans submitted by participants, to grant them financial support amounting to a total of 116 million CFA francs. This is how Shell has rewarded the six winners of the first edition of the Shell Entreprendre programme: Marie Noelline Pemba Boussougou, Yannick Ella Mve, Pierre Manet Ndoko Bitsimdou, Franck Norrin Kombila Djikui, Alban Mayombo Boulingui and Alban Moussavou Mapaga. The topical nature of their projects, encompassing areas such as New Information and Communication Technologies, Health, Agriculture, and Public Catering, underlined their ability to master the whole range of problems associated with setting up a successful business.
“By investing in the development of young Gabonese entrepreneurs, Shell Gabon wants to make a sustainable contribution to Gabon’s economic boom, and provide long-term job opportunities to Gabonese people, in line with the ‘Gabon Émergent’ Strategic Plan launched by the President of the Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, and manifested in the Government’s policy on youth employment in Gabon,” said Shell Gabon’s CEO. "Shell Gabon hopes you will become champions who will have an impact on the Gabonese economy by, for example, creating future employment,” he added.
Cabinet JTC, a partner company that has helped develop this programme in Gabon, was delighted with these results, and stressed its pride in having contributed to the programme’s success.
"It fills us with joy and pride to see this impetus, especially as more young people are preparing to set up their own businesses. I should like to thank Shell Gabon for its approach, which is about supporting Gabonese talent by means of tools that optimise skills development,” said Tony Nguema Mebiame, Associate Manager of JTC.
To ensure that these projects remain viable, Shell Gabon has set up a scheme to provide follow-up and mentoring for the winners. And Shell Gabon has asked its financial partners to re-evaluate and support the 64 projects that did not receive an award, whose owners had nevertheless put up a very creditable performance.