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Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom pushes for diverse, inclusive business mindset

Two established industry leaders expounded on how the acceptance and development of a workforce that has cultural, religious, gender, and socio-economic differences can spur business success and organizational strength:  Guita Gopalan of eCommerce retailer Vivanti Advantage, and Henry Sison, co-founder of Agro-DigitalPH, a digital enterprise for small farmers.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) and Lean Start-up methodology are concepts that are critical to the business growth of an organization and should be present in the mindset of its leaders and managers especially if they are looking to expand.  This was the core lesson highlighted in the first leg of 2022’s Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom, which trains budding entrepreneurs and owners of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) how to improve their services and scale.

Two established industry leaders expounded on how the acceptance and development of a workforce that has cultural, religious, gender, and socio-economic differences can spur business success and organizational strength:  Guita Gopalan of eCommerce retailer Vivanti Advantage, and Henry Sison, co-founder of Agro-DigitalPH, a digital enterprise for small farmers. Sison is also a Shell LiveWIRE alumnus whose training and experience with the Shell LiveWIRE Acceleration program added to his business expertise, while creating new avenues for Agro-DigitalPH to grow with more funding, hiring, and communities onboarded into its ecosystem.

The growth mindset

Serge Bernal, Pilipinas Shell’s Vice President of Corporate Relations, explained the program’s vision in nurturing the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs: “The Shell LiveWIRE Homeroom Sessions aims to develop the business skills of aspiring business owners, established entrepreneurs, and startup leaders by focusing on solutions that offer innovation and provide job creation. Practical tips on relevant topics such as having the right growth mindset, establishing business partnerships, and branding basics will be shared by our panel of industry experts. “

Mr. Sison described the growth mindset as a state of abundance that helps one welcome challenges and find inspiration in others’ success: “It’s pushing for growth despite success or failure. Achieving growth is a journey and success is just a point in time—always remember to keep on improving.”

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He also explained how D&I plays an important role in facilitating business growth especially “when you solve problems or develop solutions with your clients, allowing you to keep the best interests of all parties when coming up with something new. What’s important is getting that growth mindset, that positiveness, and marrying it with D&I.”

Business inclusivity

Gopalan’s suggestion of coming up with business ideas that take into consideration all stakeholders also touches on inclusivity: “Something simpler is better. Simpler for yourself, employees, potential customers, and end-customers.  You could also innovate your business model. That’s really where magic happens in the startup space: when companies can be able to innovate on traditional business models.”

Startups can also test and validate their business models as these evolve through the Lean Startup methodology, a cycle of building, measuring, and learning, particular to their sector. Gopalan taught about this during the Virtual Homeroom, saying, “If you adopt the Lean Startup mindset and boost that up with the methodologies and tactics, you’ll really pull together the key insights that will help your business grow better whether you are starting out, already established, or part of a company trying something new.”

More Homeroom sessions

Shell LiveWIRE is a premier community and tech start-up accelerator in the Philippines and Pilipinas Shell’s flagship global enterprise development program. It provides a platform where thriving visionary founders can pitch their innovative ideas, and make their business designs viable, readily scalable, and attractive to investors. Since 2020, more than 700 bright young Filipino innovators, including community and social enterprises, have been drawn to Shell LiveWIRE, with more than 20 successful startups receiving support through training, mentoring, and capital funding.

There will be two more legs of the Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom event: the second one on August 25 will discuss the vital strategy of establishing partnerships and transforming them as a platform to grow one’s digital business. The third leg will be on September 8, 2022 and discuss how participants can increase their brand influence by creating their digital footprints.

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The program, which empowers enterprises to stay profitable and competitive even in these challenging times, will continue for the foreseeable future.

Interested business and enterprise owners can pre-register for the 2023 Shell LiveWIRE competition, as well as the next Shell LiveWIRE Homeroom sessions http://www.shell.com.ph/LiveWIRE.

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