This year’s Shell LiveWire young entrepreneur’s competition has the best variety of unique ideas competing for the $10 000 in prize money according to its organizer.

“This is a better year for a variety of business plans ” said Frank Crisostomo-Kaaihue business counselor and training coordinator at the Small Business Development Center at the University of Guam and program director for LiveWire Guam. “We’ve got some unique ideas like an herb farm and a credit-repair business.”

The entrants and their proposed businesses are Melanija Borlja organic herb farm; Melanie Breton bookkeeping service; Simeon Cabrera clothing design and distribution; Ambrosia Crabbe talent agency; Christina Kidd mobile fast-food stand; Edward Nauta credit-repair company; Junior O’Brien souvenirs and gifts; Mary Ann Perez and Vincent Perez chocolate fruit dip; Ricky Sanchez vehicle-maintenance service; Francisco T. Salas Jr. and Chris Santos music and talent production; and Dohn So young adult and teen club.

Shell is kicking in $10 000 in prize money for the third year running. The competition offers cash prizes for the top three 18- to 30-year-olds — $5 000 for first place $3 000 for second and $2 000 for third.

Sponsors include Bank of Hawaii Deloitte and Touche LLP Glimpses of Guam Inc.; IT&E Pacific Daily News; the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay Securewest; and Civille & Tang LLC.

Completing a process begun in July business plans were due Oct. 1 with judging scheduled to begin Oct. 4. Winners will be announced at the awards banquet on Nov. 20.

Shell LiveWire in its first year delivered six finalists who completed their business plans from among 21 participants. Last year eight finalists turned in plans from among 16 who registered. This year 11 are participating.

Shell LiveWire is a competition for young entrepeneurs which was launched by Shell in Scotland 22 years ago. In now operates in 18 countries and each year involves more than 1 million young people. Seed funding of $30 000 for the non-profit Shell LiveWire Guam whose aim is to be self-sustaining in 2005 was provided by Shell North Pacific through the Shell Foundation.

On Guam participants in the program take compulsory training in small-business modules (How to Start a Business and How to Write a Business Plan) provided by the SBDC. In writing the plans they use a Netware business planning module called ActivePlans which is on the Internet and is username and password protected. “We get them to visualize their business plans and put their ideas on paper before they invest any dollars ” Crisostomo-Kaaihue said. They have the option of being paired up with mentors.

Philip Stalker president of Shell Guam Inc. said “We’re really pleased to see another strong group of entrepreneurs applying for this in its third year. We hope this program can continue in the same manner for many years to come.”

Carina Fejeran winner in the 2002 contest opened her day spa Paradis Salon in Hagåtña Guam in August. She said her opening was delayed due to Supertyphoon Pongsona which wrecked her first business location on the eve of its opening. MBJ

The LiveWire participants mentors and business ideas

Business Idea
Melanija Borja Philip Law
Securewest International
Organic herb farm
Melanie Breton none Bookkeeping service
Simeon Cabrera
none Clothing design and
Ambrosia Crabbe none Talent agency
Christina Kidd none Mobile fast-food stand
Edward Nauta none Credit-repair company
Junior O’Brien none Souvenirs and gifts
Mary Ann Perez (participant)
and Vincent Perez (partner)
mentor requested Chocolate fruit dip
Ricky Sanchez
none Vehicle-maintenance
Francisco T. Salas Jr. (participant)
and Chris Santos (partner)
noneMusic — talent production
Dohn So none Young adult and teen club

Judges for the 2004 competition
Ronald H. Leach — Bank of Hawaii
Kari Tran Perez — Bank of Guam
W. Nicholas Captain — The Captain Co.
Monte Mesa — Guam Premier Outlets

Source: Small Business Development Center