In his work as an actor in films and series such as The Book Club and Ballad for a Single, as well as in his role as cookbook author and entrepreneur behind the Koer matchmaking app, Armand Aucamp knows how important humanity is in good storytelling and entrepreneurship.
That’s why his brand new television series, Small matters, big dreamsthe spotlight is precisely on the heart rather than the brand behind several successful local businesses and the path they had to walk to realize their dreams.
In this unique business program, which starts broadcasting on Monday evenings on Via DStv channel-147, he invites a wide spectrum of entrepreneurs to share their stories of success and challenges.
Small matters, big dreams is also the first series to be produced under the banner of Armand and his fiance, the actor Sean van Noordwyk’s production company – with Sean in the director’s chair and Armand as presenter.
Armand says that the idea for it arose after he was invited by a friend to act as a guest speaker at a short-term insurance conference with the theme “not to risk, can be cautious”.
“According to my friend, my story as an actor, cookbook author and entrepreneur was inspiring precisely because I am not afraid to take chances. When I practiced my presentation in front of Sean, he was quite surprised to hear some of the stuff from my own business story and said that there might be a nice idea for a program in it.”
Also an insert that he saw years ago on the chat queen Oprah Winfrey’s program, according to Armand, made him think anew about people’s unique stories.
“She chose three audience members at random about whom she made inserts. According to themselves, all three were just ‘ordinary, middle-aged American housewives’, but the stories that came out made my mouth drop open and made me realize that there is always more behind something or someone.”
As co-founder of the Koer matchmaking app, he also experienced first-hand how important it is for businesses to give life and personality to their businesses rather than just direct and traditional marketing.
In every episode of Small matters, big dreams three dynamic and diverse entrepreneurs or businesses get the chance to do exactly that.
“We chose a wide spectrum of people. Some of their businesses are barely a year old, others have 20 years or more of experience, but both are equally inspiring. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs will be able to see that they may literally be one or two steps from similar success, or learn what it will take to stay in the industry for 20 years.”
According to Armand, the program’s format is a unique blend of both a reality and lifestyle program. Episodes are also grouped by themes such as “teamwork”, “patience” or “family” rather than industries.
Viewers can look forward to a behind-the-scenes look at well-known brands such as the Bril optometry company, The Duchess non-alcoholic gin drink and Glam Guruexpert Lizel van der Westhuizen’s appearance consulting business.
“Sean and I cry at the end of each episode precisely because the program shows the emotional side of an industry or subject, which is not always known on that side of it. One often only thinks about the clinical terms like ‘marketing’ or ‘finances’, but there is a big emotional side to this industry.”
According to Armand, working together as a couple and sitting in the boss’s chair as co-producers was terrifying, but also liberating.
“We were at one level with the content, but each of us is also stronger in different areas. I enjoy the admin and financial aspects, while Sean is the dreamer with a wonderful emotional disposition and creative eye. We complement each other nicely.”
His own entrepreneurial spirit also comes to the fore when he over Small matters, big dreams talk.
“It’s always been about more than money for me, and I’m also not very spendthrift. As an entrepreneur, you are a problem solver and you try to improve or make someone’s life easier. Also the freedom that is linked to it and the financial security that it can offer you, has always been attractive to me.”
South Africans’ resilience is precisely what makes them good entrepreneurs, according to Armand.
“One of our guests said that in every crisis there is an opportunity, and it is no secret that we as a country face many crises. We are so strong and we don’t wait for us to create opportunities or do things ourselves.”
His advice to budding businessmen and women is to find their niche market, rather than trying to be internationally competitive right away. “My biggest mistake was that I immediately wanted to go from zero to a thousand. Start first with your immediate community or environment and then expand systematically.”
One of the biggest lessons he hopes Small matters, big dreams for viewers will learn is to take risks when it comes to their own dreams.
“Our program gives a look at the realities of the industry and teaches business owners not to compare their success. I hope this will also trigger a type of chain reaction and give people the courage to take that first step as entrepreneurs.”