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du’s The Entrepreneur and Other Business Reality TV Show

With the announcement of UAE’s latest reality show—The Entrepreneur, Kipp takes a closer look at business reality shows in the region.

February 21, 2012 8:00 by

  • Earlier today, local teleco Du revealed its latest undertaking: ‘The Entrepreneur.’ A business reality show, The Entrepreneur will give 10 businessmen and woman the opportunity to compete for a million Dirhams in cash investment and professional services. Set to air on Dubai One, both existing businesses that need a little boost and those needing start up capital for a business idea can apply to become a candidate on The Entrepreneur.

    Produced by Sony Pictures Arabia, The Entrepreneur will most likely air on Dubai One during the third quarter of the year. In order to apply, the candidate must be over 18, a resident of the UAE and needs to have a registered a company in their name. If this describes you, then be sure to apply on before March 31st 2012.

  • Kipp’s got to admit we’ve watched episodes of The Hydra Executives when it was made it available on Youtube to see how desperate (read: vicious) the candidates got – if not only to hear the melodious words “Impress me” come out of the mouth of the then-man-of-the-hour  Dr. Suliaman Al Fahim. Yes, it’s one of our many secret shames. Following Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” model, this real estate reality show dangled $1 million funding for the entrepreneur candidates. If the racial dig was purposely not too well disguised, it was always odd to Kipp that somebody thought it was a great idea to pit Team USA vs Team Britain in the first season and then Team India vs Team Pakistan in the Season Two, which to our knowledge was never aired. Kipp, and sadly the rest of the audiences, weren’t too impressed.

  • Appropriately hosted by model Heidi Klum, Project Runway has jumpstarted many a young designer’s careers. Original broadcast in 2004, it’s still running and now on its 9th season. The format uses an elimination process after each challenge, which requires contestants to develop one or several pieces to be presented at a runway show. Challenges range from using recyclable items to furniture as materials to be incorporated into the dress. Based in New York, winners receive $100,000 to start their own line, as well as a variety of other packages including a mentorship with various companies, a year’s agency representation, a car and even a $50,000 technology package from HP. There are also spinoffs into other countries such as in Australia, South Korea and Portugal.

  • The grand-daddy of all business reality TV shows, The Apprentice continues to dominate the business-related reality TV show market. Perhaps fans are mesmerised by the calculating, ruthless persona that is ‘The Donald’ or maybe it’s that clump of hair on top of his head that has people glued to the show. The prize is a $250,000/year employment contract and has reached as high as 28.1 million viewers in its first season—the highest number the show has ever recorded. Already running its 11th season, numbers are waning however, with season 10 only registering an average 8.8 million viewers. And perhaps it’s these dropping figures that have led to the tycoon to think about run for the 2012 presidential seat--a plan that has been gratefully nipped at the bud.

  • What does a professional gambler, the president of a modeling agency, a Pussycat Doll and Tori Spelling’s mother have in common? They all want to give away their money. Well some of it, anyway. And so Bank of Hollywood is born (well, Kipp hears the show is based on the UK series Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway but we like our version anyway). Candidates get a chance to pitch their ideas and reasons why they need the cash. Requests range from $2000 to buy a pair of Loubotins to $50,000 to start a mobile clown clinic.

  • So far we’ve had three shows starting in 2004, guess what? This one also started the same year. Looks like it’s official, we can call 2004 the birth year of Trash TV. Anyway, at the centre of this particular show titled The Benefactor is basketball team Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Although the show was giving away $1 million in six episodes and despite the unconventional non-business related tasks the candidates had to do, the show tanked, only lasting one season. Maybe it IS possible to have reality overdose. If you’re curious (or craving bad promo clips), here’s one we found for the show.

  • Shark Tank is the youngest of this lot of business-related reality TV programmes. It’s based on the TV series Dragon’s Den, which itself was derived from the Japanese show Mane no Tora (Money Tigers), proving once again that there is nothing original on TV anymore. The show is produced by Mark Burnett, creator of Survivor, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and The Apprentice. The series stars five multi-millionaire tycoons (the Sharks) who hear investment proposals from entrepreneurs. It started airing two years ago and is still broadcasting in the US today. The show doesn’t just give away cash to candidates. Any of the Sharks may decide to make an investment offer to the entrepreneur or join in another Shark’s offer and may also entail asking for a percentage share in the business once it’s set up.

  • Virgin founder Richard Branson—yes, the very same Branson who was willing to have his legs shaved for $630,000 (all for charity, of course)—caught the reality show bug in 2004 and came up with this show. The premise? He challenged 16 contestants to tasks that will prove who among them is most qualified to take over Virgin Worldwide. Not that he would have ever given up his baby, would he? Along with Apprentice-style business-related tasks, the show also included physical challenges that reflected Branson’s love for daredevil stunts. It didn’t include leg shaving though, but Kipp doubts that exclusion has anything to do with the show only airing one season, or does it?


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  1. adel on May 27, 2011 4:42 am


  2. reality tv on August 16, 2011 3:43 pm

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