Shell’s enterprise support programme for UK’s innovative low-carbon businesses is now open for applications, with £350,000 available to six firms.
Shell Springboard will award one national winner £150,000, and a further five regional winners will each get £40,000 of equity-free funding to help grow their low-carbon businesses. Winners also receive business development feedback from leading experts in the low-carbon sector to help their companies thrive.
Low-carbon enterprises can apply online until November 6, 2017 at www.shellspringboard.org.
“Since 2005, Shell Springboard has provided £4 million of equity-free funding to almost 100 innovative low-carbon enterprises in the UK,” said Shell UK Country Chair, Sinead Lynch. “It’s really inspiring to see so many successful examples of low-carbon innovation coming through the programme and I’m excited that we continue to work with many of our winners to help their businesses grow.
Shell Springboard is an important element of our investment in the energy transition and one of the ways we collaborate with others to help deliver more and cleaner energy solutions.”
Shell Springboard winners also have opportunities to exhibit and participate at exclusive Shell events. Previous winners spoke at an Executive Dinner Forum, co-hosted by Shell and the Financial Times, and showcased their businesses at Make the Future Live – a festival of ideas and innovation that took place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Low-carbon business Deciwatt whose technology, GravityLight, uses gravity to generate electricity and provides a safe alternative to kerosene lamps for people in developing countries, won the 2015 national Shell Springboard award and £150,000 of no-strings funding.
A second successful crowd fund campaign entitled ‘GravityLight - Made In Africa’ enabled the assembly of GravityLights in Kenya and funds from Comic Relief and DOEN support this pilot in Kenya focused on serving low-income households without electricity. In parallel, Shell supported this pilot launch through their #MakeTheFuture campaign, introducing GravityLight to 50 communities in Kenya through a nationwide roadshow, which has successfully brought light and jobs to local off-grid households.
Two years on since winning its award, the future is looking bright for Deciwatt. The company has begun commercial sales and has been selling its product to both Western and relief markets. Further R&D is currently underway and the company is aiming to launch a new system later in 2018.
Jim Fullalove, director at Deciwatt, said: “The Shell Springboard prize money was an important and well-timed source of funding for us as a business, and our subsequent, collaborative partnership with Shell has driven the scale and speed at which we have been able to launch, iterate and grow. The numerous grants and prizes have been essential to ensure continued operation of both Deciwatt and GravityLight.”
Gareth Thistleton, head of social investment at Shell UK said: “We are proud to have supported inspirational companies on the cutting edge of the low-carbon economy. 84% of Shell Springboard winners remain in operation five years after starting-up, in contrast to a national average of about 45%. The innovative ideas coming out of these businesses are not only helping to create a lower-carbon future – they are also supporting job creation and growth.”
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