Oh-lief wins the Think Big competition after 10 weeks of competing against 12 businesses to win the R1 million prize.
Christine Buchanan and Louiza Rademan, sisters and proud co-owners of the Oh-lief brand of natural and organic body and baby care products, were announced the grand prize winners of the ‘Think Big – Building Business Champions’ TV series in the final episode last night.
Over 10 weeks, 12 SMEs drawn from hundreds of enterprises, operating in different sectors of the economy, competed in the Standard Bank and SABC3 reality series.
Two sisters and a vision
“The Oh-lief story is inspirational. These two dedicated women, who translated their love of pure, organic products into hand-made balms and lotions for babies and adults, are worthy winners of the ‘Think Big’ 2014 series. This was demonstrated through expansive and innovative thinking to take their business to the next level,” said Ravi Govender, Head of Small Enterprises at Standard Bank.
“Uniquely, the show concentrated on the broader SME sector, with the objective of identifying, uplifting and growing SMEs that had already shown that they had what it took to build successful enterprises.”
The Think Big difference
Traditionally, programmes for SMEs have concentrated on the ‘how-to’ aspect of starting up a new business, as well as the risks and trials involved.
“This series differed in that it attracted entrepreneurs, who had already achieved some success, but needed a ‘boost’ to grow their businesses.”
“Adding more value to the programme was the participation of presenters and a board of directors comprised of reputable, experienced businesspeople. We watched how they assessed and guided all the businesses featured. Moreover, existing and aspiring SME owners, across South Africa, had the opportunity to tune in and tap into hundreds of hours of expert business advice,” said Govender.
Contestants journey towards R1 million
At the half-way point in the competition, six of the contestants were given R 100 000 to take immediate steps to improve their businesses. The use of these funds was monitored by the board who took this into account when deciding on the grand prize winner.
After an exhaustive process, including presentations to the board, reporting on the investment of their R 100 000, and pitting themselves against other worthy entrepreneurs, it was the ‘Oh-lief sisters’ who impressed with their passion and determination to grow their brand into an international phenomenon.
What’s next for Oh-lief
“We want Oh-lief to be the leading certified natural and organic brand in every house, not just in South Africa but also internationally. We also believe in supporting other SMEs in South Africa – most of our local suppliers fall into this space. Standard Bank and SABC3 not only afforded us the opportunity to grow our business dream, but to enable other enterprises to do the same,” said the sisters.
Aisha Mohamed, Head of Bouquet: SABC3, said that the programme marked a milestone in the broadcasting of a business show on the channel.
“As a public broadcaster, we are always on the lookout for potential projects that can add value to the lives of our viewers. ‘Think Big - Building Business Champions’ was an interactive, pacey series that involved our audience in the search to find a business worthy of winning R1 million.”
“The series set a new standard for programmes focused on small business. We were proud to be associated with Standard Bank on the project, which we have no doubt will inspire others to become entrepreneurs,” said Mrs Mohamed.
While the series has concluded on TV screens, ‘Think Big’ episodes can still be viewed online by visiting www.standardbank.co.za/thinkbig.