KCB Lions’ den has been one of the first local reality entrepreneurship shows in the country. This show provides a chance for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas in order to access funding, nurturing and mentorship from already established business moguls. The first season saw 30 out of 72 businesses being funded. The lions were able to make investments worth more than KES 150 million on the businesses that showed potential to grow and make money. This show emanated from the 2jiajiri initiative which was meant to create more jobs for the youths in Kenya. Around 40% of the youth in Kenya are unemployed and therefore the show created a platform for them to create their own jobs and be employers. The lions which included, Kris Senenu, Wandia Gichuru, Darshan Chandaria, Olive Gachara and Myke Rabar had to choose businesses that showed great potential and invested in them, in exchange for equity in the local businesses.
KCB Lions’ Den Season enabled the world and the Kenyan people to see how innovative and business minded Kenyan youth are and it provided a platform for many potential business owners to learn from. From the several business ventures featured on the show, some of the business ideas that stood out for me included BTrack Global, a company creating trackers for motorcycles that are fit for the local Kenyan market. These trackers are designed in such a way that they can be controlled by a phone using a USSD code. If the tracker on the motorcycle is removed, it will make it immobile until it is returned. They have been able to trace back 9 out 12 motorcycles which had been stolen.
Another business idea that I liked was Bentos fuel company which made clean energy charcoal products from paper, sludge and bio-waste. This clean energy initiative apart from conserving the environment also creates jobs for thousands of people who will collect the bio-waste. In a period of 6 months the company was able to recycle 120 tons of bio-waste and able to generate 1.2 million with a gross margin of 50%. Other businesses that featured in KCB Lions’ Den season one included Tosheka Textiles, Bamba Systems, Enda Athletics, Mdundo and many others .
While watching KCB Lions den season one, there were areas I felt the show could improve on to make it amazing instead of just good. One of the issues was that the lions only wanted to invest in areas engulfing their scope of business. For instance Mr. Chandaria was only interested in investing in manufacturing, Olive somewhat believed that she was cut out to invest in publishing or hospitality businesses, while Wandia was more intrigued with investing in the fashion industry. This means that the lions didn’t extensively understand their main role in the show which was to provide capital or support for small businesses to grow regardless of the industry. I am hoping that in this new season the lions will be bold enough to stretch their wings and invest in businesses that don’t necessarily fall into their area of expertise, they could partner with a lion who’s conversant in that field.
Watching other entrepreneurship reality shows like Shark Tank, this one lacked the ‘business’ drama and this can only be blamed on the lions. They were too nice lacking any protagonist thus giving the show an okay rather than a very interesting thing to watch. Compared to shark tank or other business shows, there is always a panelist who is too hard on the entrepreneurs, therefore making the entrepreneurs work harder. We also expect during this new season that the lions will ask more informed questions and will bring enough drama to our screens that will make us entertained business-wise.
One major set-back of the show is that it had a lot of business ideas that had not been tested and not operational businesses. We could see that during the show some business came up with really nice ideas but were half-baked, for example, the one who had an idea of flying vehicles. The idea was amazing but not practical enough.
The second season of KCB Lions’ Den premieres 5th September 2017 at 8pm on KTN and we hope to see more and more business being showcased that have the potential to change the face of business in Kenya and even Africa. And we definitely expect to see more investment being pumped into the ventures compared to the last season. This program has helped access a pool of mentors and financial support to help them expand their economic opportunities, contribute to their communities, and become responsible members of society.