Over the years Shell has worked with many young entrepreneurs, helping them to transform their ideas into successful businesses that are helping to change the world. Here we look at some of these young entrepreneur’s stories to discover how they illustrate the five key traits for success.


They think outside the box

An ability to see things from a different angle lies at the core of many great business plans. For example, bio-bean’s founder Arthur Kay, had a novel take on London’s coffee culture. As a student he saw how Londoners loved their caffeine fix, but also how much waste it produced. The UK capital drinks over 20 million cups a day, creating 200,000 tonnes of used grounds, but rather than see these as waste, Arthur spotted a way to come up with a cleaner energy solution. Bio-bean’s factory now recycles 50,000 tonnes of coffee grounds every day, which is added as a component to biofuel and some of this is has even been used to help power London’s buses.


They’re passionate

Transforming great ideas into reality takes a lot of passion. Fortunately, there was plenty in supply when Brazilian entrepreneur Henrique Drumond set up Insolar. After seeing how technology could transform lives while volunteering in Africa, he was determined to find a way to bring reliable solar power to low-income families in his home country.  His passion saw him work with Shell to bring solar power to the Santa Maria favela in Rio.


They have vision

The vision to see opportunity where everyone else sees a problem is a common trait amongst successful young entrepreneurs. Shutong Liu and his team at MotionECO spotted how the issue of used cooking oil that was being illegally recycled back into the food system, could actually become a way to help tackle the air pollution that plagues China. Supported by Shell, MotionECO has worked towards bridging the gap between those collecting used cooking oil and biofuel producers who can use it as a component to create sustainable fuels. This example of sustainable entrepreneurship shows how strong vision helped simultaneously take on the challenges of food safety, pollution and waste.


They’re resilient

Bringing light to remote regions is a tough challenge. It’s been tried before, using batteries and wind-up lamps, but these solutions have often proved expensive and unwieldy. It took resilience to come up with a way to light up the furthest reaches of the world. London designers, Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves, spent four years perfecting GravityLight, their idea to use the power of gravity to create energy. The clever solution means that rocks, sand or earth that can be found anywhere can be used to bring light to developing countries.


They use technology creatively 

Smart use of technology is often the best way to solve a problem, and the secret of successful young entrepreneurs is often to use existing technology in a creative way. A great example of this is Capture Mobility, set up by Pakistan-born Sanwal Muneer, who devised an award-winning micro-turbine that makes electricity from the wind created by passing traffic, while also helping to filter pollution from the air. Sanwal and his team are now working with Shell to use this technology around the globe.

These are all vital skills that Shell Ideas360 participants are able to develop throughout the competition process. From ideation, all the way through to expert mentorship, Shell Ideas360 enables those involved to not only set themselves up for business success in the future, but also create innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s food, water and energy pressures.


Reg to start your journey of inspiration and learning through the Shell Ideas360 programme