Sharing the benefits of our operations means we also invest in community programmes in which our expertise can provide a positive and lasting impact. We focus on three global themes: enterprise development, road safety, and safe and reliable access to energy for the communities around us. We also have locally tailored programmes in areas such as community development, education, and biodiversity and conservation.
In we support road safety awareness schemes for many people, including schoolchildren, and we are working to improve the skills of our drivers. We support young entrepreneurs in developing their businesses. The management training and business planning advice that the Shell LiveWIRE programme delivers can help new companies develop and build for the future. In 2012, Shell LiveWIRE marked its 30th anniversary, and trained almost 9,000 people leading to the creation of around 2,500 new businesses. Shell runs the programme with local partners.
Building local economies
In 2012, we spent around $14 billion on goods and services from companies in countries with lower incomes. We also organised three workshops for suppliers in partnership with UK Trade & Investment to promote support for local jobs and enterprises. One focused on Iraqi and Omani contractors, the second on Nigerian contractors (see opinion ) and the third on Kazakhstani contractors.
Around 400,000 people are contracted to work for Shell. We hire local people wherever possible, and some governments require this. In 2012, more than 90% of our employees were local nationals.
When a natural disaster happens, we can work to help rebuild local economies through support in restoring livelihoods. In 2012, we supported several countries that were affected by natural disasters. For example, we jointly developed and ran a programme with the Chaipattana Foundation in Thailand to support flood relief. We contributed $1 million to the programme, and provided support and training for local communities to repair and maintain agricultural equipment that had been damaged during the floods.