Lucy Almoguera has won the Shell LiveWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and $5 000 to develop Designs to Go a walk-in design service.

The second prize of $3 000 was awarded to Joel Lagman for the Bear Factory a personalized soft toy business; and the third prize of $2 000 went to Adelle A. Dimalanta for Plastic Card printing a PVC card and tag service. The three were winners in the 18 to 30 category. Winners were scheduled to be announced on Feb. 17 at a dinner of the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.

The fourth finalist and winner in the 13 to 17 category Frank Blas took $3 000 to develop Manamko LLC a bed and breakfast concept.

Shell LiveWire continues to support the business plans created by would-be future members of the business community.

Ruben Domingo general manager of Shell Guam Inc.; said "This program comes at a very opportune time because we know that the economy is booming. We are hearing a lot of good things about the economy the military and the construction boom that has started. We hope that we will continue to hear good things. This will mean that there will be a lot of opportunities for big businesses and for aspiring young entrepreneurs." He said "We are giving these aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to start their business right and starting their business right means planning it very well."

Lagman was mentored by Vensel audit partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP; Dimalanta was mentored by Oliver "Pete" Shilling former executive vice president at Pacific Indemnity Insurance Co. and now a resident of Saipan; Almoguera was mentored by Thomas E. Walsh Jr. president of Pacific Western Enterprises Inc.; and Blas was mentored by Larry Gamboa adjunct faculty member at the University of Guam. The mentors are members of the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay and the Small Business Development Center administered the program.

While Shell is the main sponsor of Shell LiveWire there are other businesses that are lending support for the program. "MCV Star Press Atkins Kroll and Guam Premier Outlets are just some of the sponsors " Domingo said. LiveWire is also sponsored by Guam Business and the Marianas Business Journal.

Shell LiveWire during its first year showcased six finalists among 21 participants. In 2003 eight finalists turned in plans from 16 who registered. In 2004 11 hopefuls participated.

The 2006 Shell LiveWire finalists were announced on Feb. 10 at the Guam Premier Outlet. At the event were (from left) Frank A. Blas LiveWire finalist; Joel Lagman LiveWire finalist; Adelle A. Dimalanta LiveWire finalist; and Lucy Almoguera LiveWire finalist.

Shell LiveWire is a competition for young entrepreneurs which was launched by Shell in Scotland in 1982. According to Domingo "Scotland’s economy was in a mess and the unemployment rate was very high. Shell saw it as an opportunity and that is when they came up with Shell LiveWire." The program is in 25 countries around the world and involves more than a million young people. "More and more Shell operating countries are using Shell LiveWire as a platform to reach out to the youth " he said.

Domingo told the Journal that the program is "part of being a responsible corporate citizen. It is not only giving away money but it’s about helping people." He said "this is what is called sustainable growth."

Domingo said Rotary club members from the various clubs on Guam are mentoring the LiveWire participants. "The difference between this year and previous runs is that this year we have two categories. The first category is the 13-year-olds to 17-year-old participants and the older category starts at 18 to age 30. We wanted to reach out to the high school Junior Achievement organization members " he said. According to Domingo because this was the first time high school students were allowed to participate the number of high school participants should grow in the following years.

"I think by just participating in the Shell LiveWire program you’ve become a winner because it takes a lot of courage a lot of determination and a lot of analysis to come up with a sound business plan " Domingo said. "But if you win "¦ because the prize is substantial "¦ you can use it as seed money." MBJ