KUCHING: Oil and gas firm Shell is no stranger to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malaysia with its flagship enterprise development programme, Shell LiveWIRE.
This programme, which kick started in Sabah in 2015 and in Sarawak in 2016 aims to inspire young entrepreneurs to innovate and produce real business solutions that meet today’s socio-economic needs. Starting from 2022, Shell LiveWIRE was extended to include entrepreneurs from Peninsular Malaysia.
The programme strengthens local economies across the globe by promoting entrepreneurship and developing entrepreneurs. Five enterprises in Sarawak were named as winners of the state-level Shell LiveWIRE 2023 on July 31.
They are EB Tech, Myscripts Tech, Pungu Borneo, Raziv Ramzon of Rukun TV and Professor Dr Parveen Kaur, chosen out of over 60 participants this year.
“TEGAS is proud to partner with Shell Malaysia as part of our commitment in empowering our local start-ups and social enterprises to develop their businesses.
“We look forward to continuing this collaboration, which aims to stimulate our local economy through entrepreneurship, innovation, and meaningful employment in Sarawak,” said Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh, who presented the prizes to the winners at the award ceremony.
Participants went through a comprehensive bootcamp, where 10 selected finalists moved on to the final pitching competition. Here, the entrepreneurs were assessed based on their business pitches, which demonstrate their drive to grow their business ideas based on their comprehensive business plans and five winners were chosen thereafter.
The winners received seed grants of RM10,000 and additional RM5,000 from Tegas. They will also receive a year of business coaching to flourish their business plans into full-fledged businesses and access to the facilities and opportunities made available by Tegas.
They will also be given the opportunity to connect with the global LiveWIRE ecosystem and share their knowledge with entrepreneurs around the globe, while standing a chance to compete in the annual Shell Global Top Ten Innovators Awards.
Choong Yen Li, general manager of Sarawak Gas, Shell Malaysia Upstream, shared her enthusiasm for the programme’s outcome.
“I am proud of our LiveWIRE programme, which provides a platform for budding entrepreneurs to not just empower themselves to build their businesses, but to also create employment for their surrounding communities, while contributing towards the socio-economic growth of Sarawak and the nation.
“I encourage entrepreneurs to partake in this programme that provides access to knowledge, skills, networks and resources, which will help turn their entrepreneurial ideas into successful ventures,” she said.
Making use of Sarawak’s natural resources
One of the finalists this year is associate professor Dr Parveen Kaur, who is tapping into Sarawak’s own popular natural resource for its health benefits.
“This will be a flagship of Sarawak as it is Sarawak’s own popular natural resource. Many studies have found abundance of nutrients in this plant.
“A social enterprise model will be used to help local women farmers plant, harvest and get a sustainable income,” she said, adding that this idea is at its beginning stage and with the right support from the Government, the potential is vast.’
And as her journey with Shell LiveWIRE just started, Parveen believes it is going to be an impactful one as the programme outlined for the was very meticulous and organised with a clear goal to succeed in the social enterprise framework.
“The programme is helping the local communities and the poor work together hand-in-hand towards humanity and sustainable livelihood. It is a reputable one-of-a-kind program in Malaysia and is offered worldwide.”
On her advice to others? “Take it with full trust that you can do it! Life is full of ups and downs and if we embrace the culture of being safe in our own comfort zones, then we will not try new things and see its failures and success.
“Sarawak and Malaysia have a lot of resources for budding entrepreneurs, all you have to do is take the leap forward and with all the overwhelming support, you will never fail.”
Revolutionising pharmacies’ system
One of the finalists for Shell LiveWIRE 2023 is MyScripts, a revolutionary Medication Management Solution that allows pharmacies to easily take a proactive approach to customer care.
The system enables pharmacies to optimise workflow and inventory and to deliver personalised healthcare to their patients through clinical tools and automated messaging integration.
Furthermore, MyScripts also has a patient portal that gives the patients themselves an overview of their own medications including key details such as how it’s taken, when it’s due for refills, any potential side effects and more.
But how did this venture begin? It started out as an idea three years ago when pharmacists Kevin Ong and Sharon Lee first had the vision to solve a series of problems faced by local pharmacies and customers alike.
“As US-trained pharmacists, we were familiar with software designed specifically for pharmacies to manage their day-to-day operations and decided to apply that knowledge towards the design of MyScripts that is catered towards our local pharmacies’ needs, our regulations, and is equipped with medication information that is specific to Malaysia,” they said.
“We then decided to sign up for MDEC IdeaKita programme 2022 with an open mind, and they concluded the programme as a 3rd place winner out of hundreds of participants nationwide.
“MyScripts’ minimally viable product (MVP) finally came to fruition this past June and its alpha testing is set to commence within the next few months.”
The duo noted that over 10 million Malaysians are on chronic medications according to the National Survey on the Use of Medicines (NSUM) 2015, and that number is expected to grow every consecutive year with the global phenomenon of an ageing population, which means that more and more of our population would likely be users of chronic medications with every passing year.
“Imagine having to manage your own set of three different types of daily medications taken at different times of the day and some of which are to be taken with food while the other needs to be taken on an empty stomach—it’s a complicated task for just about anyone,” Lee explained.
“Multiply that complexity by the average number of customers a pharmacy encounters regularly, perhaps in the hundreds or thousands, which makes it rather impossible for a pharmacy to manage these patients’ medications for them without a system in place.”
Lee further added that most pharmacies in Malaysia are keeping records manually and are reactive to customer care, likely because there wasn’t a system built specifically for pharmacies at the moment, which makes them incapable to manage patients who chronically take multiple medications.
MyScripts was born to ultimately create a shift in patient care creating by making pharmacies proactive in managing their customers and patients themselves to take charge of their medications which will ultimately improve patient health outcomes.
“The Shell LiveWIRE programme has opened our eyes to the startup world and has enabled MyScripts to have a clearer understanding of how to navigate through this journey with valuable insights on fundraising for a new startup company just delving into the technology world.
“In addition to that, the mentorship we’ve received through the programme really helped us refine our business pitch. Through this programme, we’ve also been given ample opportunities to network with like-minded people from different industries.
“Our future plans include building an ecosystem of healthcare providers and patients through our platform with the ultimate goal of improving the health of Malaysians.”