Standard Bank and SABC 3 have partnered to bring to South African TV screens the search for a business that epitomises passion, energy, entrepreneurship and the efficient business skills needed to contribute to South Africa’s economic growth. This entrepreneur should be ready to take their business to the next level with the opportunity to win R1 million to put back into their business.

The journey to find this inspiring individual will span ten weeks, beginning on 17 July and ending on 18 September. Another six contestants will walk away with cash injections into their businesses to the value of R100 000 each. These prizes will take the form of cash to be invested in key businesses requirements, to help these business owners achieve their business dreams – undoubtedly making this the most prestigious and financially rewarding business reality TV series in South Africa.

The new Standard Bank ‘Think Big – Building Business Champions’ show will build on the success of ‘The Business Coach’ TV series for small and medium-sized enterprises, which aired in 2012. Using the ‘Think Big’ competition as a medium, the achievements and dreams of the 12 selected entrepreneurs, operating both big and small companies, will be discussed and areas for growth will be identified.

The contestants will be guided through the process, and offered valuable advice, by a ‘board’ of experts made up of some of South Africa’s leading captains of business and industry.

“As a bank, we have served South African business for more than 150 years. We understand what it takes to start, manage and grow a successful business in South Africa. Through the ‘Think Big’ series, contestants will be provided with thousands of hours of expert advice.  Further to this, a wider South African audience has the opportunity to tap into this also,” says Ravi Govender, Head of Small Enterprises at Standard Bank.

To ensure that all get a chance to view the programme, it will be televised during the 9:30pm prime time slot on SABC 3 every Thursday evening, and repeated on Sundays at 4:30pm.

For more insights from the ‘board’, a series of in-depth videos with key learnings, advice and practical tools from the show will be made available, free of charge, on the BizConnect advice portal (bizconnect.standardbank.co.za) on Friday mornings, and additional information will be uploaded the following Tuesday morning.

“We consider the ‘Think Big – Building Business Champions’ series as the next logical step forward in our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and business growth in our country. The businesses involved are drawn from various sectors of economic activity, maximising opportunities for viewers to learn about each sector and the prospects each holds for entrepreneurs.”

Because the companies are of varying sizes, the focus also reflects on growing businesses, rather than only on start-up’ companies, which have previously been a focus.

“There are inspiring stories to be told by showcasing entrepreneurs who have met and surpassed challenges. Although already enjoying some success, they will be people who are ready – but still need expert advice and financial assistance – to leapfrog their businesses to higher levels of achievement. “

“With the cash injections that the winner and finalists earn, they will be able to consider the acquisition of assets, further growth and job creation. We believe that thousands of South Africans will tune in, and that the programme will be a catalyst that inspires others to build their own destinies,” says Mr Govender.

The show’s hosts, successful businesspeople in their own rights, are:

  • Derek Thomas, CEO of Letsema Holdings, who is a former strategic adviser to government and is a member of several boards and leadership networks;
  • Nobuntu Webster, founder and Principal Strategist at Ayano Communications and Executive Director at African Pursuit.

They will be backed by the ‘board’, as well as other specialists in various skills such as HR, marketing and business coaching, depending on the individual needs of the businesses profiled on the programme.

“For SABC 3, The ‘Think Big – Building Business Champions’ programme will enable us to feature and honour a cross-section of people who have made significant contributions to their communities and South African business. It is these individuals that begin small, but think big, who are responsible for creating jobs and providing inspiration for others in South Africa,” says Aisha Mohamed, Head of Bouquet SABC3.

“The series will show existing businesspeople, and those wanting to start businesses, just how SABC 3, as a major TV channel, can play a practical role in spreading the business message and adding value to people’s lives.”

Press release by Magna-Carta

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