Last week Safaricom launched the BYOB (Be Your Own Boss) TV Show under the youth product BLAZE. BLAZE is a product of Safaricom that is meant for the young generation between 10 and 26 years. Since launch last year, BLAZE already has over 1m subscribers.

The BYOB TV show will be airing on KTN on Mondays 8-9pm starting 6th February 2017. It will run for 8 weeks, after which the winner walks away with Kshs.5m. Of this prize money, 3m will be startup capital while the rest will be inform of financial advice, mentorship and business support from Safaricom and other partners.

There’s a lot to note and love about the show and for me there are two things that touched me immediately.

Youth empowerment – There’s nothing as powerful in ensuring the future of a country than empowering the youth. Our youth have so many ideas and so much energy and a little push will go a long way in ensuring actualization of these ideas. The ripple effect is that once their businesses succeed, they’ll be able to create employment and therefore empower even more youth, their families, and society as a whole. Furthermore, even those who did not make it as contestants will be able to watch the show, look at their counterparts and most likely get encouraged to give entrepreneurship a go at an early age.

No humiliation – One comment by Bob Collymore that I really liked at the launch of the BYOB TV Show was that this will not be a humiliation show. TV shows, and especially elimination based ones can be tough on contestants and public humiliation by judges is not something a young person should face. It is tough enough to stand infront of millions and communicate your dream, and it is quite the worst to have that dream crashed with such a huge audience. I can only take it that Bob Collymore’s is a promise that the show will be steered in a way to gently guide contestants into successful businesses, and not to embarrass them. That is big!

When asked what she’s bringing to the table as a judge, one of the judges Caroline Mutoko (Radio personality and Chief Marketing Officer at Radio Africa Group) said simply, Clarity. Such a simple yet so heavy word. One can have the biggest ideas but maneuvering around them in an industry they’re yet to understand can be quite the fog. To be provided with, among other things clarity is quite the push.

The other judges in the show are Trushar Kheita – founder and CEO of Tria group of Companies and Kennedy Ombima – Kenyan hip hop artiste better known as King Kaka. The contestants who were selected from Nairobi, Rift Valley, Central, Western and Coast regions include: Susan Mueni, Joseph Wanja, Paul Zakaria, Cate Akoth, Valentine Nekesa, David Kimani, Wayne Ochieng’, Sam Ngure, Susan Maina, Vinsencia Gisore, Keith Asumba and Lynette Achieng’. The aspiring entrepreneurs are all aged below 26 years, and were selected following a rigorous auditions process that was carried out during the BLAZE BYOB mentorship summits held between June and October 2016.

Looking forward to February 6th and wishing all the participants all the best!

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