Times Media is spinning out its Business Day TV (DStv 412) channel on MultiChoice's DStv to create SME Zone as a new weekend TV channel extension from this Saturday, 17 September.
Similar to what Times Media did with the IgnitionTV channel, SME Zone will start off running over weekends with dedicated content aimed at small business owners and entrepreneurs.
SME Zone is being created as a "self-help manual for small business and those looking to start their own enterprises" and follows the success of programmes on Business Day TV like The Big Small Business Show, now in its fourth year
SME Zone will feature step-by-step guides on how to identify, start and grow a successful business; educational modules such as The Small Business MBA; real-life mentoring sessions with experts; and tips and inspiration from some of SA's top entrepreneurs.
"Nine out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 3 years," says Semeyi Zake, creator and executive producer of the SME Zone.
"We aim to give entrepreneurs a fighting chance, through clear templates and business models that will greatly increase their chances of success."
Shows in the SME Zone line-up include Jumpstart (self-help jobs you can start with R500 or less); Biz Guide 101 (a blueprint for running 25 popular businesses); Pimp my Bizz (revamping a faltering enterprise); Pitch & Polish (a nationwide search for the best ideas); and SME Funding.
"We realized there's a hunger for business knowledge beyond the markets and corporate deals. As a channel, we are passionate about small business, realizing that this is where we can make an impact in addressing the country’s skills gap and play our role in creating employment and growing this economy," says Semeyi Zake.
Vernon Matzopoulos, head of broadcast at Times Media, says "TV is an incredibly powerful medium of instruction. Thanks to DStv's generosity in making the airtime available, we can now reach into 5.5 million homes – and hopefully inspire a small business revolution."