“To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” – Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook.
The Blaze Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) show featuring 12 ambitious young entrepreneurs starts next week on the 6th of February. It will air on KTN on Mondays from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm for 8 weeks. The winner of the BYOB show will win Ksh. 5 million which includes Kes. 3 million in cash and 2 million in support in terms of mentorship, business support, and financial advice.
I wanted to find out more about the show and Safaricom’s Senior Manager, Youth Segment, Marion Wanyoike was kind enough to allow me to interview her on the show.
What is the concept behind the BYOB show?
Ultimately, we were looking to create a TV show that amplifies & celebrates what BLAZE believes in, while sensitizing the wider Kenyan audience on the value of empowering Kenyan youth to pursue their passions, no matter how unconventional they are.
What were you looking for when choosing contestants?
Age was a factor, as contestants needed to be within the BLAZE age segment.
Tangibility of an idea – Contestants needed to be able to present and share the idea/concept they had (whether already existing or in planning stages). The idea needed to be well thought out and tangible enough to define.
Passion – Just how passionate were they about their business idea? Based on the questions asked during the audition process, we were looking for people who believed in their concepts enough to do whatever it took to follow through with them.
Full ownership – It needed to be an idea that the contestant could execute fully, as opposed to an idea that was co-owned with other partners. The reason for this was so as to avoid any future likely legal hurdles once their idea comes to life and they receive the prize money.
What lessons are you hoping young people will pick from the show?
Relationship Building. Contrary to popular Kenyan belief, connections are not everything, it’s relationships that matter. How you speak to people and the kind of relationship you have with your suppliers, clients, business partners, colleagues, etc. goes a long way in determining how successful you become.
Success is a process of continual failing, learning, and re-learning.
Passion is a stimulant, but discipline, hard work, and integrity are the fuel that will get you through the difficult days and nights.
What kind of tasks are the 12 contestants being assigned?
Real-world tasks with real organizations that exist in Kenya
Because we are working with 7 different organizations that operate in different sectors, tasks will have a technical and leadership aspect.
Technical tasks range from understanding the media industry and how it works, to understanding what goes into product development and finding quick smart ways to create and deploy.
Leadership tasks will revolve around team challenges, managing and leading a team, dealing with team conflicts, time management and discipline, money management as well as accountability measures and performance tracking.
The contestant who wins gets 5 million. What do the other contestants get?
Each contestant (based on the stage they will be eliminated at) will get a cash + business funding support package. Check out the breakdown per contestant.
Are there any plans to mentor and support these contestants beyond the show?
The business support package includes mentorship for the contestants to enable them to learn how best to use their funds, as well as how to go about fulfilling requirements such as registering a business, trademarks, etc.
This will be the first show for BYOB. Are there plans to do more?
The biggest success will be seeing how far the contestants have made it a year after this show. Therefore our first priority will be to tell the continued story and journey of the show’s 12
Less than a thousand people applied for the pilot season of BYOB. What would you tell young people to encourage them to apply for the next season and not be afraid to try
Our biggest hope is that the youth are encouraged to begin pursuing and turning into reality their business ideas, with or without a show. If the 764 youth who didn’t make it to the final 12 end up starting their businesses and progressing, then that in itself is good enough for us. But for the youth who are yearning for a chance like this, we would encourage them to watch this round of the show. We believe they will learn valuable tips that will make them better equipped to continue on their journey
Were there any challenges in getting the BYOB from concept to execution?
It hasn’t been very easy. It was a quite a process working to get a production team who could put this kind of TV show concept together and maintain the integrity of our vision.
The audition process was equally quite lengthy, taking an average of 48 hours for our internal panel of mentors + working team to sort through from audition to shortlist, and even more time to sort through from shortlist to the final 12.
Check out the Blaze BYOB show on KTN very Monday from next week.